I've spent the better part of the evening deflecting Lochlan's request to remove the previous entry. He used to be my biggest champion for having this outlet, a place where I mostly work through the words I need to arrange. Probably because I looked up to him. I craved some kind of approval and affection from Lochlan that I have chased since I was a child. Even when Jake and I were newly married it was so easy to go find Lochlan and curl up in one of his arms and close my eyes and I know Jake worked very hard to make peace with that history. Most of the boys have. It was a given and I would not apologize for it. I don't apologize for much of anything. I haven't had to.
What's interesting is that when I stopped regarding him as the hero in the words here, he stopped advocating for the lack of censorship here. I stopped seeing him as the hero when I realized that in a misguided attempt to continue to play the role of the good guy in my eyes, Lochlan had inadvertently driven me into the arms of his intended fall guy. He left Ben to do the dirty work and through that I came to see how selfless and compassionate Ben could be. Maybe he wasn't the shallow fratboy of our group. Every other emotion towards Ben quickly followed and it was an epiphany of the grandest sort to get another chance to see Ben the way no one else does. He doesn't let people in, he'd rather pretend to be the monster, and then he doesn't have to let people see that sometimes he isn't fifteen feet tall, and he doesn't have to be strong. He just stays mean outwardly and then it's easier. Push them all away and keep things light.
Ben still attempts to live this philosophy even though we all tore it down a long time ago. True to form tonight he came barging into the house, took a quick inventory to ensure that the children were in another part of the house entirely and gave Lochlan a shove that sent him stumbling backwards onto the couch in the living room.
The shouting commenced, as Ben tried to intimidate and Lochlan chose to reason, charming the ever-loving shit out of impressionable unrefined Ben, extolling the virtues of being permitted close access to Bridget and how perfect she is and how lucky Ben is.
Compliment everyone. Diffuse the bomb. Quiet the monkey. Reassure the princess. Everyone settled back in and for once I spoke up. For once. Jesus, I never bother but sometimes I have a question and I'll be damned if I'm going to take a hug over an answer.
Okay, most times that's preferable. Sometimes, though, I really want to know.
Are we going to keep living this way forever?
True to form, I was given hugs instead of words.
Answer me, Ben. Please.
Nothing. He just held on tighter.
Death by frustration! Who knew it was an option? If anyone needs me, I'll be in the dumbwaiter banging my head against whatever's hard enough to knock me out.