Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Dunkirk.

I love love LOVE Christopher Nolan films. Can't understand a word anyone says, have no idea what's going on, am always profoundly moved nonetheless.

Dunkirk was a beautifully done telling of a true-life event with stellar acting, well-done scenes and just monumental action. The mumbling was rough though,  the bombs, torpedoes and shotgun blasts ridiculously loud in comparison and we also made the terrible mistake of popping in on Tuesday 'cheap' night (I didn't know they still did those), which was a VERY BAD IDEA because the kind of people who talk throughout a movie, kick seats and check their phones repeatedly were all there!

I won't do that again, I'll continue to call ahead and 'borrow' the theatre for a group. There were only five of us so it should have been no big deal. It was a big deal. People have no manners anymore.

A very good movie though. When it comes to Netflix I will definitely watch it again. This time with the subtitles turned on!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Raised on Radio.

Sunday late nights are for listening to Journey and getting the hell out of the way, I guess as the nostalgia monster runs everyone over until we're so flat we're ruined forever and it takes all week long to plump us back up until the next go 'round.

Lochlan's partial to Stone In Love. He loves that song. Sings it loud. Sings it with a passion I don't even understand because I don't understand the phrasing.

Me? I like Faithfully best. It makes sense. It breaks my little heart into pieces. I can't actually get through it, can't sing it, can't hum along, can't write it out. I can listen. I can hear Lochlan's voice mixed in as he sings along, his voice sometimes strong, sometimes cutting out because he can't do it either.  Sometimes I think that song looked for us and when it found us it settled in over us like a musical cloud, alternately a shelter and a storm all in one.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy too but I didn't arrive that way. It's nurture, not nature. It's Lochlan and it's Caleb and it's Cole and it's Joel and it's Jake and sometimes it's even PJ, who swore and rolled his eyes when the music came on and said he was out of here, that he'd be back in the morning to clean up the sap. He laughed and took the good alcohol with him and Duncan stopped him along the way and told him he should really stay and watch, that it's too entertaining to pass up. That's our cue to go inside too, so we can put our memories somewhere safe. 

Once the Frontiers album is finished playing, that is. It's the last album that I really liked. It came out when I was twelve. Does that surprise anyone at all?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Great. How are you?

No, really. If every there was any doubt that a little maniac lives here, it's been erased now.

My gifts for burning man are everywhere. I made hundreds of tiny little (working) rose gold and clear pinwheels with little LED switches you can turn off or on. You could wear them in your hair, clip them on your shirt, wear them like a necklace or string them to your bicycle or whatever. They are strung all over the camper and the hammock. They're hanging on the pergola out by the pool. I have a good hundred thousand little batteries left because I bought too many so I can leave them on and replace them when the lights go out. When the wind blows the blades turn and the light blinks wildly.

I liked them, in any case. The boys thought they were pretty neat. The kids are giving them to their friends by the handfuls.

Oh well. The yard looks rather neat at dusk and that is worth something.

***

I didn't go to church again. Sam dipped his thumb in coffee, crossed my forehead and muttered something that ended in Jesus Christ but I got the feeling it wasn't a blessing. I told him I was packing up my picnic basket and heading down to the beach for the day because I need a beach day with my sketchbook, my headphones and my book. We have packed orange pop, egg salad sandwiches, salt & vinegar chips and chocolate chip cookies. Cheese and crackers, plums and Oh Henry bars.

(Boys will come and go all afternoon, as is routine. Some to talk. Some to nap. Some to have a quick swim. Some just to check in.)

There are three round beach towels for lounging. The big ragged quilt for more lounging. Four towels for drying off and pillows. The sunshade for Bridget. Sunscreen. Two medium-sized freezer bags for the sea glass I find and half a bottle of champagne to drink because I just want it.

Better than church. The beach is better than everything.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Oh my God.

Woke up on my stomach. The sun is pouring in around the edges of the curtains, which lift in the breeze. I can faintly hear the small children at the park (sound carries miles over the water) and music coming from Duncan's patio two floors below. I rise up on my elbows, surveying my tiny bedroom kingdom from underneath my crown of wild blonde waves. Lochlan sleeps in a sea of red curls, a riptide drowning everyone who comes too close. Caleb has Ben's usual place which is most of the right side of the bed if you're in it on your back looking at the ceiling, so the whole left side if you're looking at the bed. He sleeps easily on his back, face unlined, head angled in toward the center. He opens his eyes and I shriek, not expecting it. He laughs.

What time is it?

No idea.We don't keep clocks. If you need an alarm, set one.

I test my limbs. Everything aches. They called my bluff. Lit the tiniest, dimmest lanterns and candles, poured some wine, put on some soft unfamiliar music and layered all of the pillows up around the bed. Caleb offered Burning Man Light. All of the fun and excitement, none of the risk.

Lochlan said he was game for whatever I wanted and as usual I said I wanted everything and the night descended through into an unending darkness in which we checked all of our emotions at the bedroom door save for one and let a silent cadence tick the hours down until daylight. I don't know when we stopped. I just know when we woke up.

We tried things never tried before, we found peace not achieved in decades and we went places we'll never speak of out loud that's for certain but the Devil didn't bite and the Fire Eater didn't burn anything down and we're all here intact to greet the morning and I may need a full-immersion baptism and all of the grace I can carry this morning if I am to show my face downstairs just as my memory is probably as transparent and useful as my poker face. Knowing me, it is.

Lochlan rubs his eyes and rolls away, taking his sea of curls with him. Everyone good? he mumbles.

Yes, we say in unison and giggle softly. He rolls back and opens his eyes with a grin. We don't speak of this. 

It's got to be noon. Going to be kind of obvious. 

I'll go out the front. 

Yeah. 

Maybe Ben came in. 

He didn't. He had already texted me. 

Okay then no worries. 

I hate that phrase. It's as if people go, 'duh...okay! I don't worry about anything now-'

You say that every time, Bridget. 

I know. 

What are you worried about right this minute?

I cover my face.

Tell me. Caleb always pretends Lochlan isn't even there. That can be worry number one today.

I'm good. I just mean in general. I need to get rolling. 

What do we have to do, Peanut? It's Saturday-

I have a whole list-

Kidding. Okay. See you later, Cale. 

Much love, Brother. Neamhchiontach. The pleasure was all, well, wow. You are incredible as ever and I'm humbled and thankful. He plants a soft kiss on my bottom lip, finds his clothes, dresses efficiently and he's gone.

Lochlan makes no move to get up. You really okay? That was some harsh-

I'm absolutely fine. I think it would have been better if he left afterward instead of sleeping over. It would be less weird. 

But you let him stay so he feels less alone. 

I do. 

That's sweet. So we put up with the weird so he can have that comfort. 

Right. 

Then leave it.

You've very patient. 

I think we both would do anything if it meant keeping you from going to that festival. 

I think you both did everything last night for what it's worth. 

You might be right. 

Thank you, Locket.

Told you I would do anything for you. It has nothing to do with him. There are things I'll never forgive him for and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you. Trying to put those two things together is now something I've become really good at it. 

Juggling.

Yes, juggling, Bridget.

And he laughed from deep within. I will always love that sound best. Though there were some other sounds, some brand new sounds, some that I heard, some that I made have made last night that are in contention now.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Crow-flavoured ice-cream.

No, Bridge.

But within twenty minutes he pulls over, tired of the sound of me sniffling in his ear but also concerned because I haven't stopped crying and if it keeps up I'll start hyperventilating. Eleven-year-olds tend to do that.

You can't eat those!

But I'm huh-huh-hungry. And w-why not? You said they're he- he- he-althy.

Did you see the layer of dust and grease on those bags? They've probably been there since Woodstock. I don't want you to get sick off them but I don't want you crying over gas station sunflower seeds either!

I sniff. I don't know what he wants me to do.

We'll get ice cream sandwiches at the next store, okay?

Promise?

Yes. And maybe some seeds if they look new. If they don't have dust. He leans over with a grimace, wiping his sleeve under my nose. Smile for me. I do as instructed. So pretty when you smile.

What do I look like when I cry?

My broken heart.

That's so romantic!

Not really.

***

Some day you're going to look back on all the terrible things you write about me on the Internet and you're going to regret it. 

I hope so. 

Someone has to be the bad guy, right?

You should let Caleb have that label. 

Trying my best. He grins lopsidedly, lazily and he suddenly looks so sexy I couldn't be mad at him if I tried. Our argument, his action followed by my crushing silence brought the army in as reinforcements, as apparently the plan was for the tickets to be dispensed with this week anyway to friends of Batman, before I got my hopes up to where I...you know, couldn't breathe. Lochlan just chose to do it in a super-punitive fashion because he's an asshole like that.

Heh. 

He didn't buy the tickets anyway, he never wanted us to go, honestly. August, Ben and Schuy pooled for them and talked everyone else into it. I don't think August was game but then he wasn't about to let us go without him. Then they all realized what a bad idea it was and had planned to let me down easy but I made one too many offhand remarks about TJ and Lochlan was ready to teach me a life lesson.

(He is full of those, no?)

Most of the many reasons Burning Man is a bad idea mostly stem from the fact that Bridget is a free spirit and prone to bringing home wayward followers, cult leader that she is. The boys were scared. They were scared I would be the pied piper on exodus day, leading a fresh army of people out of Black Rock City in a line straight up the coast to Vancouver.

Which is only partially true.

I would do that, sure. But I'd roll them all for their valuables and leave 'em all stuck in Portland. I'm not a savage. I don't even know them, and the rule is I must have know you for centuries 'tantric-ly' or whatever. Someone made that comment about New Jake once and it still makes me laugh. I think I knew him in a past life. He's one of precious few I haven't known since childhood.

What are the other reasons, Loch?

Huh? 

You said 'most'. 'Most' of the many reasons it's a bad idea. What are the others?

Bridget, I'm not a young man anymore. I've learned that my bravado and what I'm capable of are two different things and I'm not comfortable keeping you safe far from home surrounded by people who don't give a shit about anyone's safety. I learned that lesson and it changed everything and I'm not willing to put you or everything we have at risk again. Call me soft or scared or write about me all you want but I made that mistake once already and I will not make it again.  

Just admit it. You like the eight-dollar ice-cream sandwiches. 

Okay, I do. I really, really do. 

Yeah me too. Can we have them for breakfast? 

Yes. Because nothing has changed since 1980. 

In a perfect world, no. Nothing has. 

The smile this time came more slowly, more sweetly.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Collective insanity.

I didn't actually miss yesterday in posting. I lost one of my bucket list items entirely in writing out another. Whether or not the item was a lifetime running gag, always there to see if anyone was paying attention is irrelevant as that reasoning has been dismissed as 'a fucking lie and everyone knows it'. Yesterday I got slapped back so hard in life just as I thought I might be getting somewhere that it all looks familiar here again at rock bottom. I'm comfortable here, to tell the truth.

Lochlan has a way of bringing me down a peg if I climb too high. Down a peg is putting it mildly. He has a real problem with me having a ego. He likes to take my dreams and future plans, build them up so high I can't even breathe and then he burns them down. Cole used to say it's as if he is jealous of them, which isn't quite right but it had to be close. I don't know what he is but he was always afraid I would leave, maybe afraid I would find a better fire thrower, a bigger show, a better offer than the one he made for me. Sometimes he would stand back and TELL me to go and then I would and we all know how that worked so I don't know what he's afraid of and we move back to the square with the one on it.

(You'll always know where to find us. We're predictable.)

He sold our tickets. And then he told Dalton to have at her and borrowed Jay's bike, leaving for the rest of the day and that was that. But he didn't just sell our tickets, he sold all of them. We had seven. Five didn't even technically belong to him and had been paid for.

Now there are none.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Clown cars and pool games and no, we're not talking about Teflon Jesus today.

The boys got a poolside basketball net. I fear they'll never want to come inside again. They're all varying degrees of brown now and yet I'm not allowed to play because they're too rough. 'Rough'. Yeesh. Seriously?

To make it up to me they bought me a giant air mattress stuffed with LED lights that change color.

Which sort of makes up for it but I figure all I need to play basketball with them is one of those inflatable sumo suits, because protection + buoyancy. Right? 

No. Lochlan laughed at the visual though.

This feels just like that time in high school that I demanded to play touch football with them and they also flatly refused.

Henry is allowed to play basketball (and football) with them, however. Henry is six-foot-two now. I wonder how tall he'll be by Friday at this pace. Henry got his second driving lesson this week, courtesy of me this time. I tried not to laugh when I realized his knees were up on either side of the steering wheel. I told him the wheel adjusts, we'll change it.

Only to discover the wheel? IT ONLY GOES DOWN.

Lochlan said afterward that Henry can learn in his truck from now on.

He was learning in your truck. This time I laughed out loud. Lochlan is five feet, nine (or ten) inches tall on a good day. He can rest his chin on my head with good clearance, it's not like he's short. Henry's just...almost Jacob-sized. Really, really huge.

But he's a good driver, at least. Appropriately terrified. Just how I like new drivers starting out.

Now if someone would just play Pool Basketball with me for the eight seconds I have left before I burn wearing this 275 sunblock, that'd be great, thank you.

Monday, 24 July 2017

As privileged as a whore.

Vacate is the word
Vengeance has no place on me or her
Cannot find the comfort in this world
Don't mind me, I wound up with Immortality stuck in my skull. I'm not impressed either as the lyrics could be better, honestly. Some are good, the rest are quintessential Pearl Jam, which means to say when they're not ripping you to shreds or breaking your heart, they're not making any sense at all. I recognize that in a man, it's an attempt to hold back lest they give too much all at once, seem to soft, show everything instead of remaining quiet, mysterious, masculine.

Which is sad but par for the course.

I don't do that but then again no one's ever accused me of being a man in my life. Or mysterious for that matter. I have my heart spread across my sleeves like strawberry jam. It's disgusting.

And that's fine. I'm fine.

Truly.

So, uh, HEY. Who's watching Game of Thrones?

***

One of my favorite bloggers ever from the best coast, Arlene, did an amazing Summer bucket list blog post. She offered up the idea for others to share so here goes (though I have a weird feeling the evolution of my life no longer allows for anything normal whatsoever, though I will try. I have a life bucket list (ever-changing, in-progress) but it's never occurred to me to do a seasonal one, and most people are horrified if they thought I would link them here so sorry if that happens. I mean no harm. I aspire to be not-crazy and more like the respected bloggers out there but that, like this bucket list, is a pipe-dream).

Things I want to do in Summer of 2017:

1. Have the best first and last Burning Man experience ever.
2. Go to Ibiza and sleep on a boat for a week. Month?
3. Sleep for a week/month.
4. Did I mention sleep?
5. Ukee/Tofino camping/bonfires/bad surfing/s'mores for a week.
6. Paint the bedrooms.
7. Have the great summer donut tour. Lucky's to Cartems all the way to Voodoo in Seattle because I like sugar.
8. Go back for funnel cakes in Santa Monica at Scoops. Again. SUGAR.
9. Rip out all the grass. I mean pay someone to rip out all the grass. Replace with plants. Big established fantasy-plants that need no water. Ever.
10. Dalton! Because I may as well shoot for the stars if I'm going to be incorrigible and he sacrosanct all the time, forever, right? Right? Oh, hush, you.

(Did I do it right? I'm not good at lists.)

***

Joel is coming over for a late lunch (and bringing food. It's a surprise, apparently), He's probably also bringing me a prescription for something or other, which will spell the end of free thought for me, I'm sure. So say your goodbyes now. Zombie-Bridget returns in 3...2...1.......

Sigh. I tried for so long.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Big-screen Jesus.

It's summertime and the living is easy for Sam, who can pass off a lot of the small-congregation days to his second-in-command to handle and Sam maintains the heavy lifting from birth at Christmas to resurrection at Easter and beyond. No one goes to services in summer and so we once again booked a whole theatre late this morning for a personal showing of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets*. 

Caleb slid in beside me to chat for a few moments as I took up residence fourth row from the first landing, dead centre.

Third time since October you've spent all night in the loft with August. Should Lochlan be worried? 

Do you sit and watch for me to leave? 

Yes. What of it? 

I ignore him.

Joel slid in the other side. I think it's time for you to go back on some pills, Bridget. It's a good time to try and temper some of the outliers of this illness, while things are good. I have the name of a medication I'd like you try through this winter. There are some upsides to it as well. It may help with your headaches. 

I file it under Things to Address Tomorrow.

Sam comes by and frowns at me. I don't know if you should be here or in church, he says.

This is church, I tell him.

He makes the sign of the cross on my forehead in melted butter and takes up a comfortable spot two chairs over from me with his popcorn and a Cineplex magazine. The new Spiderman is on the cover. Tom somebody.

Ben throws himself down between us. Been looking for you for a while. He winks at me and then smiles and leans over, licking the butter from my forehead. I'm doomed now without the mark of God to save me.

No, you're not. There's Lochlan jamming in against my left side, as always. He's brought the ever-present, ever-forbidden package of red licorice, his own popcorn and some bottled water since it's not Saturday (only Saturday is pop-day for little Peanut) and he rubs the back of my head with his hand as he settles in. Okay? His concern floats in front of his green irises like 3D credits.

I wasn't planning to stay last ni-

I know. It's fine. The subject is closed now. Let it go. He has. I watch him to see if he actually has and he nods briefly once and opens the licorice for me, taking the first piece as is tradition. Then he hands me the package, placing it in my lap before taking and holding the back of my hand against his lips.

Love you, Peanut. Ready for the movie? 

I nod because I don't know what else to say. He collected me at August's door this morning, concern light but present nonetheless. August opened the door and said Lochlan could wake me. Lochlan did, which confused the hell out of me, and they talked deep subjects while I tried to dress myself right in front of them.

It would have been funny if it hadn't been so weird, watching August assure Lochlan casually that he's not in love with me, that he just figures sometimes if it's late that it's better for me to not wake up all the way if I'm halfway to sleeping, because I never get enough sleep. That seems to quiet Lochlan's fears for just a little bit.

When Lochlan asks me if it's Jacob's likeness or simply August that I'm in love with I always answer yes as ambiguously as possible, whether to be difficult or honest, I'm never sure which and he appreciates that, oddly enough. He knows my head, knows my heart better than anyone, knows when it's enough to worry and when it's pure romantic daydreaming. He knows when it gets serious, like when Jake all but threw Cole out of his own house. He knew I fell into a hole and couldn't breathe and still can't sometimes and God bless him, he treads so carefully around Jacob's memories and my attempts to keep them as tangible as possible that he should be sainted while he's still alive.

I stick my thumb in the butter and reach up to draw a cross on Lochlan's forehead but he stops me.

I don't think you're qualified. 

Oh, you don't know the half of it. 

*(P.S. Valerian was INCREDIBLE. Luc Besson remains a genius. Loved every second of it. Had a massive laughing fit in the middle of it, cried twice and wished to see it again immediately. Worth the price of a ticket five times over. Go!)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A first (sign of trouble).

Maybe it's because I regard him with full gravitas, or maybe it's because I don't fight back anymore when he tells me to go, or do something or feel something else or listen better, maybe it's because he feels sorry for the fact that I do that so easily. Submit. Acquiesce. I don't know. Maybe he's finally admitting he's lonely. Maybe things are changing for the worse. Maybe for the better. Maybe it was just a fuck it moment (after a fuck her moment.)

Maybes are dumb. They mean nothing. This meant an awful lot but at the same time I can't put any meaning into it simply because he won't allow it, explain it or apologize for it.

What time is it, Bridge? August has his eyes closed. The bed drifts so slightly in its' lazy swing it's hardly moving.

Time for me to go, I guess. We do this dance every time. Usually he's a lot harsher, telling me to get out or go home without warning. That's when I know I've found a comfortable place under his skin. Comfortable for me, I mean. Not for him. He'll play Jake until he can't do it any more and then he closes the door in my face.

You can stay. Go home in the morning. 

I didn't think I heard him right but I was listening hard. He put his arms out and I found a good place smashed hard right up against him, breathing against the hollow of his throat and when I woke up it was already the weekend and he wasn't Jake. He's never Jake after the first little while but I've known that forever.