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.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Beach rats.

It was fifteen full hours until we returned last evening, and while I was glad I went, in order to spend so much time with Benjamin, I was relieved to be home. Relieved to find my way in the dark through the rooms upstairs and into the arms of Lochlan, who pulled both of us down into his dreams alongside him and there we remained until the sun came up again today.

He and Ben have settled into an overtly-close affection once again. It's possibly a more welcome sight than any other as Ben sometimes feels left out, sometimes feels like he screwed things up even as I tell him he didn't but I wished I could have given him everything he deserves.

You do. Present-tense. A gift.

And sometimes Lochlan feels shoved to the side in my rush to fill my moments with as much affection as I can possibly find, with whomever will give it, even as I tell him it doesn't matter, or that it's his fault in that he raised me this way.

I know, he reminds me softly, generously. But today is mine, he threatens, lips against my forehead. You two aren't going anywhere today. 

It's wishful thinking. Ben has a regular meeting. He takes Duncan. I don't go though. I'll stay home with Lochlan and do a little errant gardening while he works on the camper. I'll pick raspberries and eat them where I stand, I'll cut back grapevines but not where there are grapes, I'll stand and wonder why the apple trees produce so little even after I have given them so much love. Maybe if the day runs very long I'll venture into the studio and look at my empty canvas and plan a painting that's very far off because the last one took a lot out of me.

Maybe it won't be so hot today. Maybe we'll swim in the pool. Maybe PJ left some olives in the fridge. And maybe some champagne. Maybe the devil will come out and join us for lunch. Maybe pigs will fly past the point and taunt me from the air for this one perfect day. Maybe things will be better. This side of the bed holds so much promise when I get up from it. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A voice fuelled by anguish/Infrared light.

(Yet another bright light burns out and everyone goes through the motions instead of making change. We made changes to deal with these kind of lights and we fight for each other while we fight for ourselves. I can't imagine what life is truly like outside of my bubble, but that's okay because I don't want to know.)
Bring me home in a blinding dream
Through the secrets that I have seen
Wash the sorrow from off my skin
And show me how to be whole again
It's a sort of fragility you can only see if you have it too. A sad secret society. An unwanted pass into a club you didn't want any part of and it sucks. I can see it. I don't want to see it. I can predict it and I hate that.

It sucks.

I've got both arms around Ben and I don't want to let go. He has to go, though. He's got a meeting and then a brunch and then a different sort of meeting and then a conference call and then facetime and then maybe, if he ever finishes his day he'll come back and fall asleep with me but for the next fifteen or eighteen hours I won't see him and today that's an emergency.

Postpone it. 


All of it. I wave my hand dismissively. Do it next week. 

He turns and sits in front of me. That's the thing, Bumblebee. Life keeps going. Just with different faces, different plans. It never stops. You know this. 

And I hate it. 

I know but it's still going. It doesn't care how you feel about it. 

How do I make it stop?

It's better if you don't. 

I can't breathe. 

Yes you can. There are books, there's running, there are hugs, there are talks, there is so much to help with the hard parts. 

I put my head down between my knees and scream.

His eyes water. Don't make me doubt myself, Bridge. There's been enough of that lately. Come with me. 

I'm not fit-

I don't care. Come along and listen to music in the truck. Bring your sketchbook. Take a video of your day and put it up so people can see that you're safe. So you can see you're alive.

I don't answer him. I keep flexing my fingers into fists so I don't cry. It's not working it's not working it's not working. FUCK.

Are you coming with me? I really need you with me. 

I am. 

Good, I could use your face in my day. I don't know the others. I feel like screaming too. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


I woke up like this. Hair suddenly past my shoulders in big loopy waves. Longer than Lochlan's hair. Perfect for space buns or a braid even, though I mostly looked like I rolled out of bed at any given moment. Not a lie most of the time but still, I'm somewhat relieved that the pixie cut days are two years past me now and by Christmas or next spring at the latest my mermaid hair will be back in force. 

I only mention it because Caleb mentioned it this morning when I woke up. I think your hair grew overnight. 

He's not pleased or disappointed, he's well-reputed in liking my hair chin length or shorter and so I promptly said Good, I can't wait until I can sit on it again and then I got the expected grim set of his beautiful mouth as he doesn't choose to have a poker face sometimes either. 

He lobbied hard for a brief escape for me yesterday out of the blue and won, exchanging a date later in the month for last evening and so we watched horror movies and sipped Lagavulin until our eyes were heavy and our hands useless. Then I slept. A full eight hours without a single interruption before he woke me at six thirty, pinning me beneath him, one hand around my neck, one eye on the clock as he had a meeting downtown. I was walked across the driveway when he was dressed afterward in a full suit of regret, as he said there is nothing more awful then leaving me in his bed if he can't be home and so I had to go and I pouted just for him, as he quickly found out I wasn't doing bunny ears at all the other day on the beach. 

He kissed my bottom lip and said he loves that too and that maybe he'll be over for dinner tonight, that he'll let me know how the day goes. He left me in Sam's hands and I feel as if I'm being passed around a lot lately when Lochlan's overly busy with things with Batman (whom he still claims not to work for anymore) and I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence or a direct result of Jay coming back. I just know that my dance card is full and so is my bed lately and I'm not sure I mind, exactly. I got my hand slapped for flirting with him on the beach and maybe it's shame or embarrassment that makes my hair grow faster. I'm sure I'll find out which soon enough.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I'm just now realizing how much of their influence made me who I am today.

My whole life they've called me a reverse-vampire, loving the light, up with the sun, disappearing when the sun went to bed. Don't get me wrong, I adore the late-night lights and noise of the midway but I'm also holding my eyelids open with my fingers to take it all in.

I think that's all changed now. I still wake up at the crack of ridiculous, swim in the coffee pot until I think I can open my mouth to speak without a hundred different voices all screaming the same indignation coming out but I can't even be in the sun for a minute anymore. I'm instantly headachey, over-heated, under-hydrated and overwhelmingly miserable.

I didn't swim today. The minute I opened my face to complain about the heat Duncan threw me off the cliff. There I remained, floating on my back, trying to teach him a lesson without getting too nervous doing it. It's difficult to turn your back on Bridget's Undersea Imaginary Creature Keepers.

Why's she so scared?

There's a Buick at the bottom. (GET IT? Cole made the acronym, I provided the fearful tears. There was actually an old car at the bottom of the lake when we were growing up. Well, there was until the early eighties when it was towed out, empty. It turns out it was only a frame with a couple of body panels bolted to it that a homeowner put in to practice his scuba diving and then moved away and left it.)


Yeah. We told her it was full of people who are still there to this day, waiting for helpless souls to come close so they can grab them by the legs and possess their bodies to live again. 

That was fucking dumb. She's going to drown, trying to swim and scream at the same time. 

We'll save her. 

In a minute. 

They laugh, or so I imagine they did and I never swam without a buddy ever again. I still don't, honestly and that's why I have to wait here for Duncan to jump in after me. The creatures can't have my soul since I don't have one but right now I'd auction his off to the lowest bidder. Name your price.

And then Ben hits the water right beside me and I almost drown anyway, getting pushed under by the huge wave of displacement when he hits.

He brings us both up at once. I'm sure when he opens his eyes my face must have been a nightmare, an angry, bratty, waterlogged scowl of a nightmare when he'd rather see a smile.

How long would you have waited? Loch said something about a Pontiac. I had no idea what he was going on about. 


I don't understand. You're afraid of Buicks? 

Yes. No. It's a long story. 

It's a long swim back, Bee. Tell me. 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Terribly good.

I walked on the beach this morning with Jay (Jacob/New-Jake, you know who he is). We took our sweaters, our mugs full of coffee and Caleb with us. No harm, no foul seems to be the rule of the day. They all want Jay here. They worked out their issues, somehow sure we're not doomed to repeat history and he's asked for Jay's help in keeping me 'safe'. 

The only thing she has to fear here is us. 


And a number of others. 


Then what do you want me to do?

Not fuck this up.

Jay throws his hands up. If you're asking me if I can keep my hands to myself I can but if she instigates-

She won't. 

I bite my tongue and close my eyes so hard I see black spots and waver magnificently. Caleb puts out one hand and steadies me without even looking. 

If she does-

Then we'll deal with her. 

I've seen the way you deal with her and I think you're all fucked in the head and she's the sanest one here. 

I love you. I gaze at Jay and smile. His whole face breaks into a reciprocal smile and I forgot how cute he can be. 

She doesn't mean that the way you think, Caleb tells him.

I'm aware. I don't know if you've noticed but we've known each other five years now. 

That's the equivalent of an hour compared to the rest of us. 

What's your point, Caleb? 

I think you fit in here. I think you can hold your own. And yet you seem to been almost gleefully exploiting her weaknesses when we're trying to build her up. I guess I don't understand what you're doing. 

We get alone really great. She's a like-minded individual. We mesh. Hell, she's been great to me. I fucked up and touched her. I thought it was okay. I didn't realize only certain guys can. I won't do that again. I'd like to stay though. It's a good place to be. I understand the repercussions mean I leave forever so I don't want to have that happen. I learned my lesson.

But you're a time bomb. 

Medically, yes. But otherwise if I make you a promise I'll keep it. 

I frown and stick out my lower lip because I have zero chill and no poker face and Jacob sees me and laughs out loud. By the time Caleb turns to look at me I've fixed it and I'm frowning at him. 

What did you do?

Bunny ears. 

Ah. Glad you're taking your own future seriously, Bridget.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jesus chores.

Worn out. Long day. I was handed a big glass of whiskey with ice and I took it. The ice is long melted but I'm still sipping. Three days away wasn't enough. I need a week or two to unwind but it's been hectic since March around here with precious few stretches of total calm.

Sam reminds me it's life. You handle what you can and leave the rest to Him. 

When he says this I startle as he assumes so easily that I know who he means and I fumble for a name. Maybe Lochlan. Ben? Caleb. Jacob the ghost. Batman. Uh. Oh. God.

Right. He's not going to pick up my slack and get the car maintenance done, buy new socks for the boys or get groceries while I'm busy tackling other things on the list, but if he is willing, tell him to text me and let me know which things I can delegate.

Saturday, 15 July 2017


When I woke up I had them both in a head lock and my shoulders were screaming. I think that's what woke me up, the sound of my whole body protesting, having fallen asleep in a painful position that took several minutes to change. I had one arm around Ben's neck and one around Lochlan's and yet I was lying on my stomach so my arms were pulled back up and hard. They seemed content on their sides, arms crossed over my back, touching each other to make sure no one left in our sleep. And no one did, I made sure of it.

I had just stopped sleeping with my sling on for protection from my elbow that got pulled out again. This morning is now Vicodin laced with coffee for me and there are elves in the trees and rainbows shooting from my eyes but at least nothing hurts now. I mean I can't actually feel my arms or my legs or my teeth and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to bake Henry's birthday cake like this but I think I'll have a lot of help.

Daniel is coming over to help me this morning. The boys are going golfing. Danny doesn't golf. He and I have fucked-up shoulders, elbows and legs and actually I lie. It's boring as fuck and I hate it even though I'm really good at it. I scored a 97 on my last game of nine holes. I'm a natural, clearly.

Lochlan has promised not to throw any clubs. Caleb hasn't. Should I be worried? Ben said he wouldn't eat or bend any clubs and no one believed him. Then he winked and assured me he will keep Lochlan in line, though I think Lochlan will last about five holes before his own arm issues put him on the sidelines. That will piss him off too though, so I'm glad I'm not going.

After baking and decorating if there's any time left we're going to work on my outfits and gifts for Burning Man. SO excited.

Friday, 14 July 2017

All I have.

It was only after Ben moved off me, stretching out to sleep in the dark that he spoke, and I didn't even know he was there. I jumped right out of my skin. It was cold, sure, but at least it didn't have the sting of Ben's razor burn all over.

Of course my bones all fell to the floor in a heap. Teeth too, and my brain rolled away under the bed and so I couldn't think of anything good to say and even if I could have, I wouldn't have been able to say it.

You didn't wait for me. 

Lochlan's voice has a jealous tinge, a beautiful kelly-green shade that turns it thick, luminous-rich.

My finger bones team up, find my brain, pull out some words and run them through my teeth until sound comes out.


Not her fault, Ben says from his dreams. I don't think he's noticed he's still holding my skin from where I leapt from it. I think he finds it to be a security blanket. It won't cover him though, if you stretch it out square I think I'm the size of a king pillowcase.

Good enough, Ben says. He covers one side of his torso with it and goes back to sleep. Sorry, he says again and my brain flexes in a cringe. Once Ben's out, he's out like the dark. He sleeps like the dead. It scares me but right now I have more important things to do, like stand here to juggle these hearts because God help us all if they roll away somewhere out of reach.

I was here waiting for you. More luminous slime pours from Lochlan and my bones rattle faintly as they shake.

You didn't say anything when we came in. My brain is doing a masterful job of finding words that fit together. It's a puzzle. One for ages 8+. One I probably couldn't finish if I tried.

My bones float to the surface of his ire, still jangling faintly against each other and he swallows me whole, chewing on my brain because it's tough and bigger than it looks. He chokes it back and swallows.

Now my teeth have nothing to read.

Sleep, Bridgie. We'll talk about it tomorrow. 

I close my eyes with the finger I can reach. It's like when someone dies and you reach out and press their eyelids down over their pupils because they're never going to see you again. I did that for Cole so he couldn't find me anymore. It worked too well. Sometimes I miss him too and then I'm swimming in Lochlan's green pool, while monsters from the depths of his soul reach for my legs to pull me under. I scream at the thought and his jealousy floods down my throat into my toes, filling up my skin, leaving Ben exposed, at risk of losing everything.

I piece together one whole hand to leave resting on Ben's heart. He'll be safe that way while I sacrifice myself. That's how it's done around here, or so I've been told.