Thursday, 21 September 2017

Shame? I left that back home in my boyfriend's bed.

Caleb was all bluster, no fuss, affectionate to a fault and I was sent back intact, lovingly and sweetly, with apologies for his temper tantrum no less, as he struggles with his new role as formerly malevolent, now benevolent, once evil, now kind, used to be bad, now better-than-ever boyfriend. In order to keep his permissions and not wind up sanctioned, them be the rules and he has to stick to them.

So he talks dirty but then it washes off, which is good because he wouldn't have wanted to leave it badly and I'm glad he didn't leave it badly because I'm in New York.

Yes! The big Tomato.

Just when I give up on my wanderlust and doom myself to haunt the point forever someone charters a plane and ta-DA! Ben may have come back early because he was worried but he still has back-end meetings that he couldn't do from home and he didn't want to fly back to London so the compromise was New York.  Lochlan and I have tagged along to keep him company, which basically involves sending Ben a lot of nude photos of us from the hotel while he's in meetings.

Don't worry, I always crop out my head because no one's EVER going to be able to identify me by my tattoos. Right? RIGHT?

We're here until Tuesday. That's a lot of room service. That's a lot of nudes.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

He barely made it past the week and other dumb things that are probably none of anyone's business.

Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave. I've...seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to d-

BRIDGET! Come inside before you get soaked!

It's been pouring all night and I love it. It's freezing cold. It's the perfect night for Rutger Hauer's final monologue in Blade Runner and yes I fell asleep during my third screening of the movie but not for any of his scenes, the last of which is a masterpiece of acting and reminds me of someone.

He was amazing. I cried. I hated every other part of it though and I went from being kind of sort of vaguely excited to see Blade Runner 2048 to thinking I hope something else is showing so I can skip it and go down the hall to watch something drippy and sad. Maybe Ghost Story will finally hit the theatres here. Not like it has yet, I am still waiting.

(Nevermind. I just checked and it went up on iTunes YESTERDAY. YESSSSS.)

I reluctantly sweep my eyes around the deck for tiny origami animals or Daryl Hannah in the throes of whatever and head back inside. Caleb hands me a newly-filled glass of red wine and leads me back down the hall. It's so dark. He turns back and I almost don't see him, bumping lightly into his arm. He takes my glass and continues forward. It's like he forgot who was with him. Little Miss Clumsy.

Little Miss Sub.

Little Miss Guarding Her Soul With Everything She Has In Case Last Week Was A Trick.

He hands the glass back when we reach his doorway.

I'll show you things people wouldn't believe. He grins.

Pretty sure you have already. 

His face falls. It was a joke. I swung and missed.

Maybe we went too fast. Maybe you need to learn your lessons more slowly. 

Maybe you aren't allowed to play those games anymore. 

What if you want me to, Neamhchiontach? 

Then I'm supposed to talk it out. With one of my proper counselors.

August isn't here. And I don't think Sam really wants to hear those kinds of things. Especially not now that he's moved that much closer to you. So distracting. 

Claus on Skype. Joely. Lochlan if I have to.

You can't talk to them about this. We can just roll it back a little, just for old time's sake. Remember your words, Bridgie? 

Gingerbread. Wenceslas. Toboggan. (He very purposefully chose three-syllable words so there would be no mistake, and holiday words so that I would remember them at such a young age. And then he chose to very purposefully never ever hear them.)

Don't you miss it? Don't you miss having such an easy, specific plan, having it all spelled out for you so all you had to do was show up and follow my rules? 

Can the maker repair what he makes? I trace a raindrop down the window. I'm not going to answer him. I don't want to do this. He grabs my hair and wrenches my whole head back so I'm looking at him and I gasp at the familiar expression. I haven't seen it in ages.

If you don't stop quoting that fucking film I'll do more than just ignore your safe words, Bridget.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

End of the fire ban.

This is why I love fall. Rainy bonfires on the beach, boys in sweaters, my rainboots, hauled out of the very back of the front-hall closet and passing around a bottle of whiskey in the half light like back in the old times, except now it's a forty instead of a pint. Now someone walked in and picked it up off the shelf and paid for it instead of begging Caleb's good graces. Now I still only come up to their armpits or shoulders. Now we're still thick as thieves.

My flannel shirt and jeans isn't warm enough and Lochlan sends me back for a coat just as we reach the gate. I frown and stomp back across the driveway and then break into a run, up the stairs, catching my toes and landing on my hands and knees on the top step, then picking myself up and running through the kitchen and down the hall into the foyer and grabbing the first coat I see, which is John's green carhartt jacket which is far too big and heavy but that's okay too. I shrug into it, zip up the front and run back, grabbing the rail on the way down the steps this time.


I run across the driveway and Lochlan laughs. Ready? Think you could have found a bigger coat? 


Off we go. Down the slippery steps. I get the rail and his hand. He gets my hand and his uncanny balance. We don't need to rush. They've always kept their promise over the years. They never start without me.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Everything you were ever afraid of.

We went to see It yesterday afternoon (thank you rainy day empty theatre, so empty I didn't have to book it), and as the world's biggest Stephen King fan I have to say,

I didn't...hate it.

It was actually pretty good, although the horror parts were not that good. Too campy, too silly, not scary, very weirdly done.

The children, however and their relationship to one another was masterfully done.

I think that's what I love about King stories. Half the horror is some real-world psychological dread but it's softened by some campy bullshit easy-horror, almost diluted to make it something you can swallow. So the campy rotting skeletons will probably kill and you and what a relief, hey, because at least now your fear of the dark/being alone/death/whatever won't.

(Now I patiently wait for Joyland, Doctor Sleep and Revival to be made into movies because I think they'd be fantastic. Much as The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon will forever be my favorite of all time I daresay it wouldn't make a good movie because so much of it takes place inside her head.

(which is EXACTLY why the movie of my life is going to flop someday too.)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Let me ramble, I'm actually typing in church so I can't edit.

This morning Sam stood up at the pulpit and told the congregation the parable of how he helped participate in the emancipation of an incarcerated soul. How he held that soul in his gaze, naked and unprotected, how he rushed to perform the rites of baptism the moment that beautiful soul was reunited with its rightful owner. How he vowed to protect that soul for the remainder of its time within one of the most precious living entities he has ever touched.

The tips of my ears were burning so so ferociously I had visions of Lochlan leaning over and lighting a cigarette off one of them, except that 1) we were in church and b) he doesn't smoke anymore.

I could see the expressions on people's faces as they wrestled with his words. Was it a metaphor, or perhaps a warning. Was it from the old testament, maybe, or maybe something from a book or from a dream and he was going to use to to talk about Jesus. Maybe he was going to use it to remind us to be virtuous in case our souls leave or get stolen. Maybe it's true and Sam's crazy. Maybe that girl he lives with gave her soul away.

(Hey, maybe it got taken by the Devil when she was a child as a warning. As a prize. As a punishment.)

Caleb sat up stick-straight during Sam's tale, expressionless, rigid. I wondered if he thought Sam would name names or call him out properly by his rightful name to fight the ultimate war but Sam went the other way, softening until he was mush, unable to continue, trailing off with a hand indicating the hymn number written on the chalkboard.

Sam does not have his shit together since this happened. Which is to be expected. When Jake found out Caleb actually had possession of my soul his reaction was much the same.

I imagine he'll be pleased now to know I'm one hundred percent physically intact.

I imagine he'll still be completely crushed to know that I'm still batting a good sixty, maybe only fifty percent tops emotionally.

Not like it matters. You can lead a girl to her soul but it won't fix much of anything.

Abruptly Caleb picks up my hand and kisses the back of it.

Okay maybe it fixes some things.

Saturday, 16 September 2017


I couldn't open the big double doors today, it was too cold. I did take my breakfast out front though, to eat in the morning sun while it hits the front porch. After that it's in shade for much of the day. Plus it was where my Lochlan was, replete with fresh coffee and an old guitar.

You eat? 

I nod in a lie and hold up my own cup. I can't manage walking, plates and cups. I'm not all that coordinated so I poured a coffee and came out. I'll leave the cup and go fetch a muffin later.

He approves of my lie and puts the guitar away. For the record, I didn't ask Ben how long he would need in order to ration his time, I asked because I was trying to give him time, but I also wanted time and didn't want to crash his reunion. He offered the two-hour mark. I didn't demand it. 

I nod. I don't think he needs the validation here in daylight but he seems to. Not like we could sort it out last night. The bed was kind of crowded, as Ben was already long asleep when we went up and Sam stuck around so late we didn't send him home at all and everyone (even the dog) slept in a little bit, just enough, on a cold sunny Saturday to take the edge off the week, to fade the bruises from some days with harder edges then necessary. Sam talked me back from the anger, Lochlan gave me a soft place to hide, and between the two of them I didn't end the day the way I spent it at least and I feel better.

Can I take my bride out for breakfast?

Yeah. That would be really nice. 

Get your bag, honey. I'll put the guitar away. 

How did you know I didn't eat? 

I know you. You can't walk five feet with a plate and a mug at the same time.

Friday, 15 September 2017

My uncle died this morning.

He was the only one I've ever had, to be technical, though my grandfathers' brothers were all uncles by default as per tradition until they all died but I was so young when that happened it didn't seem so final the way it does now and I've spent much of the day in a fog, vaguely teary but mostly angry as that's how grief is for me now. Why the fuck do we even bother with stupid shit like buying tires and weeding the garden when we're all just going to die. Why pay the power bill? Why take my vitamins?

It's all just going to end abruptly and without warning and then someone's going to have to make a round of phone calls and once everyone is duly notified you stop and take a breath.

Then your brain does that awful thing where it runs down everything you remember about that person, neatly packaging it up for you into a little compartment, labelling it with their name, and it puts it in a dark corner where you won't trip over it, and it says to you quietly,

There. We'll just leave this here for you. 

And you wonder how long it will be before you forget the sound of their voice, or what they look like. And your brain tries to interrupt all those destructive lines of thinking with comforts about heaven, that you'll see them again, that there's a reunion to look forward to, but you know better because first you get to spend another fifty or sixty years on earth (if you're lucky ooooh boy next person who says that to me better be getting a head start.) buying tires, taking vitamins, and coping with death.

Like a good girl.

I hate today. I hate the fact that I didn't see him over the past many years. I hate the fact that I can't be peaceful and comfortable with death instead of seething with quiet rage over it, as if I could conjure up enough anger and make it go away somehow, as if I could scare it off.

As if I could just make it wait, because I'm not ready for any more of it.

Not yet.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Boy logic.

What if we're all just sleeping satellites?
Why do we drift so far from home?
Why do we wake ourselves from paradise?
Where we will never be alone
The drugs are a volume knob and it'd be nice if someone turned it down a little, just so I could hear myself, just so the noise could die down just a little, just so my heart would stop crawling out of my chest (we need to watch that NO YOU NEED TO FIX IT HELP ME IT FEELS WEIRD), just so I could make it past morning hellos and actually make plans or do something other than sit and look out the window, forgetting to blink until my eyes fuse into shards of stingy glass.

I'm sitting in Ben's lap, as he holds his hands up against my own. He's a mirror, a mime. Every time I move mine, he moves his. His eyes smile at me along with the rest of his face. It's a group effort and I can't get enough. His eyebrows are half-circles, his eyes bright stars, his nose spreads out just enough to lead to the wide spread of his perfect mouth. He's been shaving every day and he always looks a little strange without a beard but it makes his eyes all the more intense. That's not a bad thing.

Lochlan tried to ration my time, Bee. 

Did you throw down to sort it out?

No, I let him give me a time and I agreed to it. 

I slide off his lap and fall on my face. Ben's logic sometimes leaves me speechless.

Come back, he pulls me upright.

I thought you weren't going to let him pull alpha. 

He is the alpha. And frankly he needs this. Needs to feel like he's in charge or what does he have?

I look around. Everything. 

Tell a man he can have his wife back when you feel like it and see if they feel that way. 

I'm not into girls.


I don't want him pulling that on you when you've been away forever. 

It's fine. 

Then why did you tattle on him?

So you would be aware, in case you weren't, of  just how much he loves you. I think as open as he tries to be deep down Lochlan is a little boy who doesn't want to share his ice cream. 

Don't say that. He loves you. 

Not the way he loves you. 


No. It's okay, Bridge. 

I know. I much time do we have? 

A couple hours and then I asked him to come hang out with us.

Then why in the hell are we still talking? Take off your clothes.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


I still have hope
Though it failed me so
And now I’m weak where I once was strong
Time’s moved on
All that was is gone
My stronghold is
I live to long
I would have woken up in a panic but in my dream I smelled airplane fuel and I knew before he lifted me up that he was really home.


Tightly I went into Ben's arms with a kiss so that he would know that I was fine, that we were fine. I didn't see at the time and wouldn't until he let go that his other hand was cradled around Lochlan's head. Lochlan slept deeply and didn't wake up at first, didn't smell fuel, didn't notice a six-foot-four dark-haired man come in a week early off his trip because he didn't like what he read and didn't want to be away any more. Two weeks was enough. It was suppose to be three and a bit. I couldn't even talk about it.

My arms flew around his neck. I might not let go until Christmas.

So much has happened. 

I see that. 

I can't see anything. It's too dark. 

Leave it dark. I can see. 

You're a vampire. 

And you've got to let Loch sleep sometime, Bee. He needs it. 

How was your flight?

Too long. 

Did you come back alone? 

No. Everyone's back. Full complement army now, Bridge. Something you probably should have waited for. His eyes flash in the night as mine adjust. I hate to get right into it but I don't trust Caleb's motives for doing this now. It was one of the only cards he still held. 

He's getting old. That's all. He's trying to fix things because we want to do right by each other. Lochlan mutters it from his pillow. He puts a hand up and Ben grasps it tightly in his.

You trust him? 

I don't know. But I wasn't going to refuse the offer. 

Ben looks at me and I shrug.

No, I don't imagine you were. He stares into my face for so long I start wondering if it would be rude to break my return gaze and go back to sleep. I'm not good at being awake. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm just going to involuntarily close my eyes any second now if he doesn't offer a little more sleep-

Let's sleep for a bit. I'm wiped. I just wanted to get back. I wanted to be here with both of you. He throws his arms around both of us and crashes down hard onto the bed and we laugh and leave him in the middle without another word, crowding into close together. I'm pretty sure they were both asleep in seconds and I wasn't far behind. Best two hours of sleep I've had in a while.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Part II: Somewhere along the way it all got mixed up together.

I woke up free. I woke up with salt crusted on my hair, my eyelashes, and on Lochlan's beard. Our clothes were stiff and we smelled like the ocean. We had slept for ten or thirty hours. We slept until we no longer felt so tired. His hands are rough around my head and he wakes up when I try to move.


I sit up and realize Caleb is here too. He's dry and clean. But he's here.


When we burst back into daylight we went running across the yard. I did a cartwheel and then a backflip right off the cliff, starting off so gracefully in the night, so acrobatic before reverting to Bridget-rusted-chicken just as I caught sight of the edge. Doubt poked me, wondering out loud if maybe I wasn't fast enough, if maybe I hadn't kicked out far enough to clear the cliff successfully.

But I had, and I hit the cold water and I woke up alive. Complete. Lochlan surfaced, clutching me, Sam a second later, almost beside me, pushing me back under before I could catch my breath, drowning me in a quick baptism for my own good, shouting about the father, son and the holy whatever just as I started fighting him to breathe again.

Spirit. That's what I surfaced with.

And he laughed as he asked the boys if they would lift me up in prayer, supporting me as one of God's own.

They answered, shouting back in shivering unison and we were already swimming around to the beach.

(Sillies. I'm not God's. I'm theirs.)

When we touched solid ground Sam put his arms around me and said a prayer into my hair so fast I couldn't hear any of it. He put his thumb on my forehead and drew the shape of a cross and he smiled as if I had been saved.

Well, you have, he nodded and handed me over to Lochlan who honestly gets credit for all of this and may or may not have been twisting Caleb's arm so hard he's been squealing for months and Lochlan finally went past humane this week. Enough.


No, this isn't going to be the status quo, yes, you're going to put it all back the way you found it. Jesus, this has gone on long enough. Let go already. Make her whole again. Leave her be. Let her come back. Undo all of the horrible things you did to her and help her already.

And we didn't think Caleb would agree to it. I didn't think he was afraid of Cole too. It makes me sad. I reach down and touch his face from where I sit. His eyes open.

Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you. 

I haven't been sleeping, just waiting. But he looks drained.

I'm sorry. But it wasn't his to keep. 

They're going to seal the door this afternoon, Neamhchiontach.

Who is?

Your army. 

Let them. 

If they do this Cole is gone forever. 

He's been gone since I left him, Diabhal. 

Caleb turns away from me, and then nods to the opposite wall. I give him his dignity. He doesn't deserve it but I'm gracious when I don't have to be and cruel when I feel like it, just like everybody else. He turns back, slams a gentle kiss against my salty forehead and tells me he'll see us in a bit.

And then he's gone, which is good because I need to think. I need to feel what it feels like to not have him fragmenting pieces of me, fracturing off my soul to keep like a prize after destroying my childhood in a way I never expected, taking my plans and my hopes and twisting them into something dark and strange and making everything different. I need time with Lochlan, apart from the endless attempts at sabotage, from within, from without.

Is this why everyone always says 'this is the first day of the rest of your life' after something very important happens? 

Yes. This is why, Peanut. Probably never truer than today for you. 

Do you think? 

I do. 

I would have thought that was the day after Jacob died (THWACK painfully still as my heart refuses to acknowledge that word and his name in the same sentence even after all these years).

That was heartbreak. This is healing. 

Is there a diff-

You tell me, Peanut. Tell me if you feel different and you'll see that you already have the answer.