• 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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Ain’t There One Damn Song That Can Make Me Break Down and Cry


Discipline, desire, commitment, obsession. What gets you up at five, your silhouette ghost-like in the dark pre-dawn windows. Why would you rather be alone than at a party thrown in your honor? Why does everything in the world seem dull unless you are writing? Transforming overheard conversation. Reaching for a simile that links up thematically. A eureka moment that fizzles. I deal with writers all day long and they are living in a parallel universe where there is hot soup, where they can’t find their pen, where their mothers love them. Ego without confidence. Confidence without ability. Ability that can’t find it’s own elbow. Love that doesn’t know its name.

What am I trying to say?

9 Responses

  1. I think you nailed it. Period.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. What gets me up and keeps me going is that I’m going to die, and somehow writing as much as I can — and as well as I can, for quantity is not quality — before that happens makes me matter. To me. To others, I would like it if, but let’s get real. To my wife, I matter because I earn the money so she won’t have to — she’s kind of brittle around the social edges — and so she won’t have to be so goddamned alone in the face of a life that held such promise and went so wrong. To the cats because I give them food and water and pets and playtime and a warm lap in winter. To my parents because I’m their fault; to my son because he’s my fault.

    Parties, never mind the honor, are only fun if I’m getting high or drunk or might get laid — but I grow old, no longer get high or drunk, and no longer hear the mermaids’ siren song. I’m a married man, don’cha know.

    Everything in the world is dull unless I’m writing — no seem to it.

    Hot soup? There’s hot soup? And pens? And hey, I know my mother loves me — she feels guilty as all hell.

    As for what you may be trying to say, I will take your question to be rhetorical, and will say, as to the rest and all of it, well said.

  3. Well. That’s the question, isn’t it?

  4. We are a breed apart.

    My job gets me up at 5am.
    The guy down the street who leaves for work in a big ass truck that beeps when he backs out gets me up at 5am.
    The dog’s bladder ready to burst, mine screaming for relief gets me up at 5.
    And so do my back and stiff neck. (Need a new mattress/pillow.)
    You know you’re getting old when you injure yourself while sleeping.
    Writing at 5, I don’t think so.
    Coffee at 5, yes, yes and yes.

  5. We live inside our heads. Often it’s better than the real world and rarely is it worse. 5 AM is a good time to try and make sense of things, but lines, ideas, can pop up at any time. We try to be ready. I like to think I’m alert, but I don’t have a clue what a lert is.

  6. Everything sucks unless you are writing, as you say.

  7. I think you saying that you love writers.

  8. One song that makes me cry every time is Ann Wilson singing “I Can’t Live if living is without you.” Badfinger is my new favorite band thanks to my just having finished binge watching “Breaking Bad.” I hope I don’t have to suffer alot for one timeless song like this–like Badfinger seemed to suffer a lot for their awesome songs and not get much in return–but if I ever create something as timeless and awesome as Badfinger’s music or Vince Gilligan’s all-time greatest show, I suppose all the neurosis of this so-called writing life will have been worth it–or not.

    PS what do women do in mid-life crises. I’m not really in to red sports cars or mistresses–just thought I’d ask.

  9. I think you just said it all about writers. I’m thinking fucking Nobel money. For sure. I think you got it, Betsy. But I do find you on the shelves so you probably already knew that. Unless there is something about the shelves I don’t know. Is there?

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