• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Forced Entries

The last time I saw Jim I had gone to his apartment in Brooklyn to help him sort through the many drafts of his novel in progress. He wasn’t well, but for all his body’s betrayals the raconteur was in fine form. It took at least of couple hours until we parked ourselves in front of his computer and got to work. He had color-coded passages he wanted to ask me about and the screen looked like a Dan Flavin installation. The day was spent in serious debate over everything from adverbs (which I felt he used too liberally) and semi-colons, emerging themes, and what his main character Billy Wolfram would or wouldn’t do. Before I left, he showed me some memorabilia from his rock and roll days, and then we talked about the ending.

When I left, I was relieved to be in the fresh air, to feel the late sun on my face. I double-checked that I had the flash-drive where I had stored for safe-keeping the many drafts floating on Jim’s desktop. I looked back at his strange little building sort of stranded on the edge of Brooklyn, imagined I saw him in the window, and waved just in case. I wanted to go back and I wanted to go home.

6 Responses

  1. Is there any chance to salvage and publish the book?

  2. A beautiful vignette — thanks for sharing, Betsy.

  3. Where the thought expires is an idea, behind the last breath of joy another joy, at the point of a sword magic–that’s where I’m going.

    Clarice Lispector
    Soulstorm

  4. How lucky you are to have know him.

  5. He would like this tribute, I think, very much. Peace to his memory.

  6. Solace is to hard to find these days. I found a little bit of it, right here. A lovely and touching tribute to Jim’s magnetisim and crazy intensity. I agree, he would have enjoyed this post and most likely, laughed out loud. I’ve been re-reading his work and listening to spoken word recordings since he died. It hurts. It helps. Its Jim Carroll and he understood that conundrum better than most. Thank you. My thoughts are with all of Jim’s tribe.

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