• 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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Don’t Give Up Until You Drink From a Silver Cup

bosc-pearDo you like being alone? Being alone with your work? Alone in your head. Do you like going to movies alone? Diners? Walking alone? Traveling by yourself. Are you alone when you’re at a party? Making small talk? Do you write when you can’t write. In your head, on the ceiling, the roof of your mouth?

Do you crave solitude?


9 Responses

  1. Yes. It doesn’t always translate well to my family, but they’re dealing. The best is going for a walk (or ski or a paddle). It can come off as rude sometimes, but I hate to be bothered when I’m on a roll, in my mind. And I try to respect the solitude of others.

  2. Sure do.
    Almost always.
    Yup, yup and yup.

    I am my own imaginary and real best friend.

  3. I prefer solitude to company, my thoughts to idle chatter, Pandora to telephone.
    I prefer to wander lonely as a cloud.
    I show up, though, and fool the world.

  4. Oh god yes. One hundred percent, though like Diane above, I’m able to show up and fool the world. Also, when traveling, I do like my guy along. He gets me, so it’s okay.

  5. YES. Though I recognize my choice of solitude is indeed a choice to escape from my loud ever-present family. A luxury. I have friends who are truly alone. I fear that level of solitude. I know they didn’t choose it.

  6. Hell YES. I particularly like to eat alone in a restaurant, because it still feels like an act of defiance toward those who think it’s an oddball move. Even better is cooking alone, whether it’s food I’m going to share or a single dish just for me. There’s something sustaining in all that, some kind of nourishment that goes beyond food.

  7. It’s not a matter of liking it as much as it’s a matter of accepting it. For reasons too tedious and banal to bore you with here and now (I’ll do it later, or earlier, someplace else, and call it fiction, or even literature), I’ve been alone since I was a child, partly by choice, partly by nature, and partly by circumstance.

    What is an artist? Who is an artist? Who is taken by it, stricken by it, in pursuit of it? It’s a calling both lonely and social. The very act of making art is an act of communication, of a peculiar sort, almost an infantile sort. It’s an act of insistence, that what one has to say or show is so important, it has to be allowed a place in the world where it can be offered without interference.

    I’ve never liked being alone. I’ve needed it almost all my life. To find someone to share movies or meals or walks or longer voyages with, that’s such a rare and precious thing, to be able to commune through such intercourse. I’ve read someplace that the best of friends, the closest of souls, are two people who can sit together in the same quiet room and say nothing to each other and be perfectly in harmony and at ease.

    Being alone with my work, alone in my head, that’s a necessity in a way for the crafting of art — but I’m never truly alone when I’m doing that. I’m talking to everyone, singing for everyone, one-on-one, one person at a time. (Long time ago, I worked as a radio show host. You know — the deejay, the friendly and soothing voice in the night, coming from your radio when it’s late and you’ve turned out the lights but you can’t get to sleep — and the trick to being a good deejay was, when you were talking into the microphone, you weren’t broadcasting to tens of thousands of people, you were talking to one person.)

    Small talk I can’t make. It’s pointless. Parties I can be okay at if I know at least one person there I’m comfortable with and can be drawn out around. At art openings I used to go to, I was always the one person going around looking at the art. If I got lucky and there was another person there doing the same thing, we might could talk about the art. At openings for my own shows, I was hopeless. I’m not exactly bubbly.

    Yes, I write when I can’t write. What is it with showers? Or on the train during rush hour? And with that point when you’re just about to drop off to sleep, you have a busy day tomorrow, but then the thing — phrase, sentence, paragraph, scene — cuts loose in your mind and you have to get back up and deal with it?

    You know, Kafka barely slept. Think about that when you read his work.

    You do read his work, yes? I don’t mean just the cockroach story (it wasn’t a cockroach, anyway).

  8. Oh my goodness, yes! I really enjoy going to the movies alone. Matinee in the middle of the week makes it feel like I upgraded my living room. And, I usually feel alone at parties because I end up wholly and totally responsible for holding up walls and making sure thresholds don’t feel neglected. It gives me all kinds of time to write on the walls of my mind.

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