• 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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Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This



Lately, my inner monologue has gone completely out of control. I feel like Joan River’s aborted daughter. It’s like any positive thing I hear, I flip it, or gut it, or demean and diminish it. I’m no stranger to the negative thrum, to the mind’s dark pockets. Only now it’s so much eyeliner and torn hose. How are you? It’s been ages! Can you believe how cold it is? Ask your doctor about Lyrica.

What’s the worst thought you had today.


21 Responses

  1. I got my first review on my debut novel today and made the mistake of reading it. T.T

  2. No bad thoughts today. I used them all up the night before. The morning brings sunlight. Thank God.

  3. Can’t tell you my worst thought du jour lest a whiff of its stink send you roiling past nausea into a grey hole of hopeless so mundane and cowardly it peels paint at 100 yards. Or, not.

  4. I thought that someone very close to me is a monster.

  5. No coffee, no thoughts.I’ll get back to you.

  6. “What’s the worst thought you had today.

    Here it is, verbatim. “They’re all a bunch of fucking idiots.”

  7. Unfit for the public sphere

  8. Woke up to the cat puking on the carpet. My first thought of the day, spoken out loud as an ironic prayer: Fuck This Shit.

  9. First off, fuck dark thoughts, fuck ’em like they’re the stranger you met on the train/in the bar/in the woods and rode that person until you didn’t think you could grind anymore, nearly fully clothed in a private cubicle, in a decent hotel room or up against a tree, the bark not as harsh as your bites, and all the while thinking of the dead and striking out against dark and lonely memories. Throw your hands around like you were pounding someone and sweating only means you’re having fun. Or something like it.
    Anyhow, I’m broke again. Bailing my sister out after she couldn’t pay the mortgage and had her condo foreclosed on. I feel bad when I’m angry and wish all kinds of nasty things upon her, although it did feel good to stand out in the snowy woods this morning and yell, “Fuck you, you incompetent, stupid shit!”
    Might have startled a squirrel or two, birds flew away and rousing a grouse from under the cover of deep snow, an explosive flurry of flapping wings and sparkling crystal powder on the breeze.
    Aside from that, all is well.

  10. “What’s the worst thought you had today.”

    Wait. It’s still early. I haven’t had it yet. It will come.

    I don’t think I’d had any until you brought it up. Then they all came to mind, or attempted to. Could be the worst thought I’ve had so far today is to blame you for my thinking about worst thoughts.

    But I did. Both think about them — sort of — and blame you for it — sort of.

    I thought that if my wife died, I’d be free of the burden of being her husband. I’d also be very lonely, probably for the rest of my life, instead of the ordinary artist’s lonely I’ve long since lived with. Cry me a river. Get me away from the lake. I’d likely go back to Colorado or New Mexico, live amongst the mountains and forests and deserts. Ideal places to be alone, unless you need help, like say you fell down and broke your hip up in your mountain shanty, in which case, so long, sucker.

    (Meanwhile, WordPress has tagged “amongst” as being a possibly misspelled or at least suspiciously spelled — or spelt — word, about which I currently have no worst thought.)

    What is a worst thought, anyway? While the tea steeped I read about Turkey’s slide into dictatorship and thought about how a free people can vote themselves into slavery, but an enslaved people cannot vote themselves into freedom. At least I think that’s the way that works. Can the frog reach out of the saucepan and raise the temperature of the burner heating the water it will come to be boiling in? Such thoughts do not seem to be the worst thought to which you refer.

    Upstairs, in the apartment above mine (and my wife’s), the toddler has begun to clump about, the floor has begun to squeak under the heavier weight of momma, papa’s nasal and never-ending voice has begun to seep through the floor (ceiling — depends on your POV), and soon the baby will cry.

    Here come the worst thoughts! Anchors aweigh, my pretties!

  11. You don’t want to know. Really.

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. I’m sad that Amy Krause Rosenthal died, but I still think her memoirs try too hard. In my reading of her Modern Love essay in the NYT I swear I detected just a hint of opportunism.

    Oh, wait. Was I supposed to think something bad about myself? OK, here it is: I’m the kind of person who thinks badly of dead lady memoirists.

  13. If I told you my worst thought I’d have to kill you…twice.

  14. My editor said some very bad words back in September.

    “Assuming a book of 75,000-80,000 words (though a shorter book is fine, too!)…”

    And this afternoon I found myself looking at the word count bar at the bottom of my Word document that I started a few days ago (interrupted by about four dozen games of solitaire on the computer) and thinking like a freshman, “only about 67,000 words to go. I can do that. I wonder what she means by shorter…”

    Honest to god, it was like about 9pm on the night before a colonoscopy, after you’ve drunk about a quarter of the viscous, sort-of-weirdly-salty colon cleanse fluid and you look at the nearly-full jug in the fridge and realize that you have to finish that whole fucking thing and you get nauseous just from the realization of how much of the job is ahead and how you’re going to wretch at every glassful no matter how much fake pineapple flavor you put into it and that you’ve got, what, a dozen glasses left to go, maybe fifteen, and then you’re going to be in the can for two or three hours after that, and you’re actually looking forward to having someone shove a movie camera up your ass the next morning because at least then the fucking thing will be OVER!!!!

  15. My worst thought today was based on a couple folks inquiring if my new book included a photo from my nude beach experience. I’m as horrified as most of my readers would be.

  16. I could complain that the temporary man in charge today almost manipulated me like my first serious girlfriend, playing on my desperate need to belong, but I caught myself and he failed. I went home. At home I realized I have only changed slightly in the last 35 years. This time I walked but it was close. But that is child’s play to Joan River’s aborted daughter. That depth of cynicism would be a world of its own. Call it Sardonica. Yeah, my darkness isn’t so dark anymore. More irritation than anything.

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