• 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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I’m Standing Here Outside Your Door

burning-cigarette-background-vector

I did something today I haven’t done in thirty years. I wrote a god damn poem. I had the first line about six months ago. And the rest showed up today, uninvited, unbidden, nearly unwelcome, I gave this up a long time ago. In fact, the day after I handed in my MFA thesis I stopped writing poetry. Completely. And I didn’t suffer.  Honestly, I miss smoking much more than I miss writing poetry.

What do you miss?

14 Responses

  1. Glad you asked…

    I miss thinking about how I would one day conquer the world.
    I miss believing that I would find a man who could understand me.
    I miss having boundless energy.
    I miss puppets.
    I miss kicking my brother off the jungle gym.
    I miss tether ball.
    I miss field day.
    I miss the feeling of utter freedom I had the first time I drove to California.
    I miss being lighthearted.
    I miss being light.
    I miss sex.
    I miss wanting sex.
    I miss taking a bath in a tub that overlooks the ocean.
    (I had that one time)
    I miss the Royal Arch trail in Boulder, Colorado.
    I miss thinking that everything I write is gold.
    I miss not considering what self-indulgent means.
    I miss having a great woman give me challenging writing assignments…

  2. “What do you miss?”

    I miss the ignorance that enabled me to think I knew it all.

    I miss the sense of having endless time ahead of and available to me.

    I miss the conviction that my writings, photographs, and paintings were somehow of some enduring and transcendent importance.

  3. I miss being young, stupid and clueless about he importance of youth. I miss being middle-age and without any sense of how valuable each, even shifty, day was.
    Now that I’m one of those people “of a certain age” I miss street racing my ’65 bright red Plymouth Barracuda when I was 17. Nobody could beat me. It’s amazing that considering the risks I took I made it this far into the future to write about teenage idiosy.
    Actually I don’t miss that stuff as much as I look forward to getting ink.

    • Carolynn, you rock. Keep rockin, gearhead.

      • Ah Frank, rag man extraordinaire. Those were the days my friend. Take the air filter off, flip the cut off valve, remove all seats but the drivers and head to the track. Quarter mile…burn rubber…roar. Put the seats back in and grind asphalt between Steak and Shakes in St Louis county. Man oh man I was it back then. Now I have three care seats in the back of Forester for grandchildren. If they only knew.

  4. Holy shit! Good for you!!

  5. I miss not analyzing the subliminal significance of things, how I once saw the world in simple lines and literal translations, neglecting to seek out what things meant or represented. Take the burning cigarette at the top of this post. Before I learned of advertising tricks, it would simply be a smoldering cigarette. Now that I overstep every boundary, the lower half of the smoke suggests a smooth vaginal mound and the cigarette ash spells out sex. Or maybe I’m just horny.
    Do you smoke after sex?
    I don’t know — I’ve never looked.

  6. There’s a bunch I don’t miss at all. A good nights sleep would be nice, though.

  7. Drinking Alone & Smoking In Bed. Thank God Writing & Reading (BOOKS!) Hasn’t Been Messed With, Once You Get Used To The Idea That You’re On Candid Video Camera 24/7! Sean X.

  8. Not much. I don’t miss smoking. My god, don’t even say that! I’ve been having these thoughts I used to have as a kid and singing songs I used to listen to as a pre-teen, though pre-teen wasn’t a thing back then. They just pop into my head. KISS songs for god’s sake! I think maybe I’m dying and my life is flashing before my eyes in super slow motion and is taking forever. I hope that’s not the case. I don’t miss anything. Maybe let us see the poem. It’ll be like an old writing class. We’ll all give helpful suggestions.

  9. Oh, yes, I miss smoking. Still glad I quit. I don’t miss writing poetry either. When I go to a reading, I go to listen. Sometimes a poem writes itself in my head during the reading, and sometimes, during a break in the readings, I thumb stroke it into my phone. Not really writing, not really a poem. All the better.

  10. I miss being able to run. I used to be the fastest kid in my school, not that that meant anything. It was a small neighborhood local Junior High School. Now it hurts to walk after a few blocks. I even have dreams where I can jump down entire flights of stairs and run like an Olympian.

    I miss making love to my first girlfriend. How novel it was when we were intimate. “So this is what it’s like” I often marveled in the beginning not realizing that the innocence, love, and passion, would eventually wane and turn to a dusty memory. That this was a person that I would never see again after a few years together.

    But now I have more confidence in my steps and my wife holds my hand in what turned out to be my greatest love affair…but at times I do miss those early years.

  11. I miss wandering the streets of Ann Arbor with you. xo

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