• 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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They Walked Alone By The Old Canal

Happier times

Do you live inside a shoebox? Are you a scrap of paper tucked inside my notebook? Do you care how the pages feel quilted from pressing down so hard? Or the tape, now yellow, where you pasted in photo booth pictures?  Didn’t you think that someday a biographer, or a graduate student, would stumble upon the two dozen boxes, the twenty-seven notebooks, find the scraps like crumbs leading to your oven. How silly you would sound! How hard it all was! And for what? There are two kinds of people, someone once said, only can’t remember: lefties and righties, innies and outties, assholes and bigger assholes? You can not recall another Fall when the acorns underfoot were so hard to crack.

23 Responses

  1. There are two kinds of people: those who think there are two kinds of people, and those who don’t. I think Twyla Tharp said that, but I could be mistaken.

    I love your blog.

  2. none of us are free.

    • OMG, rea, you just handed me a madeleine moment with that video! I grew up in a motel on Miami Beach, and my mother would toss me, uncensored and unreviewed by her, anything that the clientele left in their rooms after they’d checked out. My bookshelf was a mix of the sacred (Hare Krishna literature, from when they were out in full force at the airports) and the profane (Jacqueline Susann, the patron saint of author-driven book marketing).

      One of the first grownup books I ever read was a blaxploitation novel (subgenre: “plantation”) by Raymond Giles called Rogue Black. Published in the early Seventies, it’s “theme” was, “If one man is a slave, no man is free.” For the ten or twelve year-old I was, that message, delivered with generous spoonfuls of steamy interracial sex and violence, made a near-eternal impression in the wet cement of my pre-pubescent consciousness.

      There’s a whole site where you can buy Rogue Black and similar books: http://www.seriesbooks.com/cart/catalog.aspx?cid=293
      The covers are incredible, much more lurid (and non-PC) than anything out nowadays, I think.

      Maybe that’s why I’m so blocked; my sensibilities were formed by trashy Seventies paperbacks, and I don’t want to write stuff like that, I want to write “Lit-ra-choor.” Come to think of it, I cut my journalistic teeth on the National Enquirer, way back when it was an even less respectable rag than it is now. I’m doomed.

      Sorry for going off topic, but I was just so excited to remember this. Maybe early (trashy or otherwise) influences could be another topic for Betsy’s blog?

    • There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who really dig blues, and those who should.

  3. Wow, it’s a small world, and you know why? I know that couple in the photo. I met them at a party a few weeks back. I knew they looked familiar…

  4. There are at least two kinds of people in the world: live ones and dead ones.

  5. forget the coffee….I want Wild Turkey….I read a new science fiction book last night, but what we know as reality is much more disturbing. Picture it: The US Congress is in session. A bill is presented in the Senate by a senator with blond hair, streaked with black. wearing a red suit and blue sequined pumps. She yells: “I propose a bill that would ban all citizens from contact with Mars and any other planet – including Pluto – that god has created because we ain’t supposed to be there but here in the good all Americas. We are to stay here on this earth- though half is covered with crickets due to god’s wrath – Although I am opposed to government handouts – except to the designated ordained – we will be handing out pitchforks at the beginning of the cycle of the full moon.”

    50 yeas
    0 nays ( the senate has been reduced to representatives living inside the borders of state V and state X (which states those are is top secret and you will be sorry if you try to find out._
    God bless Americasssssss.

  6. I learned a long time ago not to leave evidence around.

  7. two kinds of people: those who go straight and those who follow the twist of fate.

  8. I like this post even though I don’t really know what it means. And I’m freaked out that Wendy in Editorial met the couple in the picture a few weeks ago. I feel disoriented.

    • It’s Betsy’s sneaky poetry. And if I remember correctly from my high school Honors English class, you don’t have to understand poetry, you just have to feel it. Disorientation is the correct response.

      It’s a good thing Betsy’s an atheist (sort of), because that makes her a perfect channel for mystical occurrences such as this one. She won’t get a God complex on us.

  9. I live in that photo album a few pages back , peer out of the black and white torn in half and taped back together.

  10. Last year at this time I had a basket overflowing with acorns. Now it’s just me with one acorn and a hammer, pleading with everyone I meet, “Can you open this?” and wondering why it’s so easy for the squirrels.

  11. Your posts are such gems of thought and the writing…ah, the writing. Wonderful.

  12. It has been awhile since snow dusted the higher mountains and coated the last October leaves. The nights are long, it rains often and each good day is a blessing as we head into another harsh winter. Times have changed, there are more and more people up here and it has become a place to go, not to hide. The tables have turned on what used to be normal and it’s as abruptly unsettling as a stalker coming face to face with his prey, the buck ambushing the hammered hunter, and no matter the outcome, nothing is the same.

  13. Hmm, I hope those stubborn acorns yield sustenance or at least rustic material for a little arrangement on the mantle or bookshelf.

    If not, this is good for getting sprung from boxes and tape (and yes, of course, these Bay Area New Agers are forcing my hand) —

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