• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Well Sometimes I Go Out By Myself and I Look Across The Water

Just push through, of course you have bad days, you can’t put out everyday, you’re not even working, you’re kidding yourself, you’re too old, don’t tell people you’re writing a screenplay, you sound like a douche bag, that producer was just being polite, that fucking asshole didn’t get back to me. Should I follow up? Don’t be a douche. You’re weak. The script is good. Good not great. It’s too careful. People don’t act like that. You don’t know what you’re doing. Can I overdose on Coke Zero? Does anyone have a cigarette? WHat would it be like to quit and just live. Work on my collections: buttons, ribbons, lacquer pens, antique cigarette boxes, scarves, and mass cards. Is there a better feeling than killing a line? Or moving your rook? If I were a man I would walk all night, sit with my legs apart in wide V. If I were a girl I’d wear heels and bracelets and Amy Winehouse eyeliner.  I think there are only so many combinations of ideas. So many sentences. There is a finite number of semi-colons; please use them sparingly. Yes, two fucking snowflakes are alike. Yes, the watched pot will boil eventually. Yes, cliches are like corn on the cob. Yes, you are a complete original. This is your life, this is your life chained to a desk, chained to a hope, chained to a dream.

Are you free?

42 Responses

  1. We’re not free. We’re burdened by expectation and hope. By falseness and superficiality. And by stories that can’t tell themselves.

  2. All creation was made subject to futility. (St. Paul, not me.) So relax.

  3. Yes I am free AND easy.

  4. I’m free, but I’m still pacing the outline of where the cage bars were. Gives me a headache, sometimes.

  5. No I am not free. I came into the world in chains. It is not a matter of just shucking them off; they are a part of who I am. Still I struggle. By recognizing them, holding them to the light, I hope to grow beneath them. I’ll never be free; I am tied to others.

  6. Yes. Mostly because I’ve seen the alternative, true oppression. It may be cold outside, but it’s my cold.

  7. I’d rather be chained to this desk/hope/dream than anywhere else.

    Try not to over-think the day. Good or bad, struggling to live a writing life isn’t the worst thing. I kind of like the company we keep.

  8. No, ma’am. I am not free. There is no one who is free. Never has been, politically-motivated claims to the contrary notwithstanding. And drug-induced delusions do not count.

    First thing I noticed this morning is my chains could use a new coat of paint. Some rhinestones and glitter could make my shackles sparkle right purty. And maybe I’ll decorate the locks with peacock feathers.

  9. I’m free because I’ve tied myself to the things I love.

  10. As soon as I read the question, Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” came to mind. “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”

    Yes, I’m free at this point – that line rings true for me. I haven’t attained what I want out of this thing I do everyday, therefore, I have nothing to lose.

  11. Slow learner, me. I just finally realized that the posts that come out on email and the posts on the blog are different. They even ask different questions, which has confused me greatly before (granted, it’s easily done). I am neither free nor laughing or crying. I’m just always answering the wrong question.

    • Well, I’m obviously slower than you Mari….what email? Tell me so I can sign up for more Betsy.

      • Donna…Near the top right of the page where it says, “subscribe via email,” is where you’d sign up. The posts will come into your email, but be forewarned, the feeds are occasionally different than the ones posted online!

      • Ohhhh! Ding dong. I saw that but just figured it was the same as the blog. got it. thank you!

    • The one I get in my yahoo mail was different today from the gmail one. I thought I unsubscribed one, but apparently not. That’s okay. Two versions of Betsy’s thoughts are cool with me.

  12. Nice rook, Betsy. They fly through the pages of Shakespeare, usually boding ill. Have you seen Anonymous? Great film. Apropos of nothing.

  13. Are you kidding? I have the writing disease, and to make matters worse I am really just a carrier. It sits black and dormant inside driving me crazy. I wish I could just cut it out but I’m afraid I’ll rip out some vital organ or spill enough blood to kill me. It’s a great life if you don’t weaken. That’s my corn for the day.

  14. Funny, I was just thinking how free I am, then I got the summer flu and the cataract in my left eye has wriggled into the middle of the lens. I feel like hell and can’t really see, yet I can’t stop working on this damned book. Wish I had some mass cards to sort.

  15. I am my jailer.

    Sometimes I see that the cell is unlocked and slip away, smiling.

  16. Except for one glitch in my karma, I am so free. (Laughing or crying?)

  17. I have occasionally felt free, but it is a temporary sensation. Bound by contracts, loan terms, the tall wood fence around my yard – even the gas gauge in the dashboard – my actions all seem to be motivated by anything but freedom. I am the hamster racing within the wheel and boy, am I tired.

  18. To be free is to be dead…unless you just got out after doing ten to twenty. Once the gate closes behind you another opens in front. I much prefer the one without high walls and razor wire. You can write in both places but I like the view from here better.

  19. I wouldn’t sit with my legs wide apart even if I were a man. Too aggressive, too vulnerable, too polyester leisure suit. I would affect a Brad Pitt ankle-over-knee thing, and lay my arm over the back of the chair.

  20. I don’t know if I’m free or not, but this is a beautiful post. The Amy Winehouse eyeliner line rolled around me while in the shower and I felt something like hope. Betsy, write the novel so we can read your poetry. THEN write the screenplay.

  21. yr too competitive as a writer to be an agent.

  22. I’m trying to quit and just live. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. I have, however, mastered the Amy Winehouse eyeliner. It took some practice. One of these days I’m going to leave the house with it on. Maybe on purpose, but probably not.

    • This made me think of my ex-husband. He had long hair years ago and one night, he used one of his little sister’s bobby pins with butterflies to keep it out of his face as it dried. He forgot he had it in and went to shoot pool. He couldn’t understand why all his macho guy friends avoided him and why he had to play pool with strangers that night…, until he went to his car and caught the flash of blue, yellow and green in the rear view mirror. I still laugh at that to this day – although most of what he did never made me laugh.

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