• 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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Every Way You Look At It You Lose

You park the car at Walgreen’s, can’t remember what you came for, trying to remember feels like trying to do quantum physics. Four boys, young men, cross the parking lot. They are thin and own the asphalt with their enormous untied sneakers as big as boats! They will grow into them like puppies into their paws. They will be great lovers or crappy lovers; they will never remember the feeling of  being this loose. I get out of the car. Moth balls for my husband, hair conditioner for my daughter. Swick and swanky, long and lustrous, mango peach. Didn’t I need something?

The woman at the dry cleaners is flushed from the steam. She wears a ring of fake diamonds on her middle finger, too loose for her delicate finger.  A sign says they clean Uggs! I love watching her punch the cash register. In fact, I love to watch anyone punch a keyboard, especially airline ticketers with their fast claws. Why does it cost more to clean women’s clothing? Is it our special stench, the mix of cigarettes and sadness. Diet coke and pancake make-up? How we leak! I am back in the car, my husband’s ten shirts lay flat in the backseat, quiet as a corpse. I sit in the car for a few minutes. The heat is suffocating, all enveloping. I know there’s somewhere else I have to go.

19 Responses

  1. This is a mistake. You meant to separate the lines in odd places, because this is a poem.

  2. Spare of word, beautiful and sad. I’m so there.

  3. Oh my. Write a novel immediately.

    • Yes. Absolutely. This is a place we have all been, and it is a place no one knows how to write about, but you do.

  4. Unbelievably apt and beautifully sad.

  5. Wow. Remind me why you stopped writing writing poetry — or at least this kind of poetic prose — again?

  6. Life in a nutshell. We give and forget when to take. (Hugs)Indigo

  7. That’s lovely.

    Why did you switch from second person to first? Do you want feedback or praise? Or both or neither?

  8. Love the pov switch lured me right in with just the right observational detail and meditative angst so you know I would buy the book from that blurb

    • Jesus Christ. I love Betsy, but she’s an -agent-. Let her suffer a little.

      Okay, in her case, a little -more-.

      • I’m interested in her as a writer not as an agent, so I assume she comes with her own supply of suffering which I don’t need to add to.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong–I’m happy to add to the suffering of writers, too.

        Got a rejection for my Big Commercial Project today. This is the one that is so nakedly mercenary that for a weeks I’ve imagined it was below me. You can imagine my relief upon learning that, no, in fact it’s unreachably high.

  9. Please write a novel.

  10. Very cool. Thanks.

  11. I love it all but especially “Four boys, young men, cross the parking lot. They are thin and own the asphalt with their enormous untied sneakers as big as boats! They will grow into them like puppies into their paws.”

    It’s brilliant!

  12. Lovely post. And fuck the dry cleaners, tools of the patriarchy.

  13. Beautiful post.

  14. I’m brand new to your blog (but not to your books), and you do things with words in this post I never would have imagined. LOVE it.

    Thank you for sharing.

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