• 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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It’s Getting to the Point Where I’m No Fun Anymore

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What is summer vacation to a writer? Not a trick question. It’s more time to write. It’s more time to not bathe, more time to stand at the sink eating a sandwich, more time to jerk off, more time to count the headlights on the highway, more time to scrub the tub, to wake up early and stay up all night. You might buy a pack of Marlboro Lights and who could fault you. You might give up on you hair and who could fault you. You might destroy a toe. It’s been known to happen. You do not take vacations even when you take vacation. The world is a sore you need to poke, an engine to tinker. You are nothing, you are everything, this is the sun over Idaho, the clouds in San Marcos, you never picked a fight except right here.

Got any plans?

20 Responses

  1. I spent the fourth writing and raging. If it hadn’t been a freaking holiday, I would have just been writing.

  2. One goal is to bring an old boat back from the dead, and River Rodent is getting there. A short trip to NY is in the works. Reading, studying, writing, planning a fall adventure.

  3. Yesterday morning I said fuck it to everything and plopped my SUP in the lake. Two loons were swimming peacefully in the bay. The water was quiet and smooth and I paddled and drifted until I could see the mountains to the east. Soon motorboats and jet skis appeared, so i dragged the paddle board and my ragged self up and over the esker separating the lake from a pond and paddled toward one of my favorite swimming spots. I like to swim naked, but a motor boat that suddenly appeared and raced across the water docked at my swimming spot before I could get there. They were all wearing bathing suits — fucking civilized prudes — and my attitude is let those who arrive first set the rules. So I paddled to a trail that led to an even smaller, inaccessible pond, stashed the paddleboard behind a pine tree and hiked the 1/2 mile into the pond. It was gorgeous, the blurred, reflected pine trees reminding me of Monet. A small loon slipped under the surface of the water and I tried to guess where it would resurface. I was wrong, but I continued to spend my time scanning the surface of the water looking for where the bird would reappear. It was hot, but the mosquitoes were buzzing around the perimeter of the shade, so I sat in the sun and rolled a joint, peace in every puff. I sought solitude and here I had found it. I could hear the traffic increasing on the lake, but time just drifted by. After awhile I hiked back out and went for a swim to cool down. The wind was picking up and soon two canoes appeared and I got dressed and paddled home, the going tougher against the wind.

    If I was smart, my plans would be for more days like this.

  4. For the first time, my writing plans include a real deadline. One of my manuscripts was accepted by a publisher. Now, I must have said beloved manuscript re-edited, most of the illustrations in place, and all of the releases signed by the end of July. If coffee is soon in short supply, blame me.

  5. I don’t take vacations. Fiscal constraints.

    I don’t take vacations in the traditional sense. If I can get a few hours here or there, maybe a half day, I take vacations from one thing — chasing money — to turn to other things — writing, reading, photography, walking along the lakefront.

    This is coming out wrong. I don’t take vacations. Even if I could, I wouldn’t know how. The reading and writing and photography, they are always with me.

    At the end of May I spent a few days in New Mexico and West Texas to see my son and my mom. That’s as close to vacation as I get, and it’s not really a vacation. It’s a mission.

    Susan’s taking a vacation next week. She’ll be going to see her sister, also in New Mexico. It doesn’t trouble us to vacay separately. I work from home now, so, even though we love each other as much as could be expected from two people who know each other too well, we do spend a lot of time in close proximity. Ours is a two-bedroom flat. One room is my office. Give us a break!

    While she is gone, I expect to work while I eat. Not money work, but the reading and writing that makes my life tolerable. That makes my life.

    I’ll also be sleeping diagonally across the bed, for I am tall.

  6. The only plans I have involve promotion. A ten day trip is coming up in August, to the county where my story takes place, where I’ll visit a library, a book club, a book store, and then on to Nashville, and Parnassus Books where I hope to meet none other than Pam Tillis – who wrote a song for the book. (part of something called Trio) I think the mash up of work + time in the NC mountains suits me just fine.

  7. Going to Story Land in NH to help a friend with her 3 kids. How’s that for irony. (Is that irony? Too hot around here to think.) I’ll probably stand at the sink eating a sandwich for a few days as well. Happy trails everyone!

  8. Am giving myself until the end of the summer to FTF, a vacation week with family somewhere in there.
    Every time I sit down to write I chant, “if not now, when.”
    It’s now, see ya.

  9. I’ll be relishing the blazing Texas sun soaking into my aching bones. Fruit bursting with energy dripping down my chin. Worshipping the color green. Red stone and slapping waves soaked in sunset over the lake. Driving in the dark with the windows down. The smell of steak on the grill. Cicadas and tree frogs …

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