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    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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You Were Only Waiting for this Moment to Arise

You know I’m a hater, but I’ve been crying a lot lately. Every time I see video of the nurses and doctors on the front lines. When I see people singing opera from balconies. The city erupting in applause at 7pm for all the people putting their lives on the line. The beauty and bravery, the resilience and strength. You know I hate looking on the bright side, silver linings, half-full glasses. Negativity and hopelessness is my default like Little Father Time in Jude the Obscure. Of course, I do much to convey a different persona: false enthusiasm, false encouragement, counterfeit generosity. A cellist saws away on her front stoop, a flash mob of Walmart workers materializes between rows of merchandise,  a conga line of nurses and doctors dance when a patient comes off a ventilator.

What makes you cry?

16 Responses

  1. Oh my god. Stop it. Who even are you?

  2. I’m with Betsy. I’m a blubbering mess at all of it.

  3. I cry at MacDonald’s commercials. My Sicilian, Master Sergeant dad was the same. My tiny, 103 pound, 95-year-old mom is a stoic German.

  4. I cry at weddings and funerals and endings. I cry when I talk about having been abused. And about how I believed crazy untrue things about myself for so many years because of it. Grief is the hardest work I know but I do it for free and it’s made my life worth living.
    Thanks for asking.
    PS: I don’t buy it that you’re a hater.

  5. Two women who craft handmade masks and leave them in a red basket in the tiny lobby of the post office I work in. There’s a little printed sign taped to the basket that says, “Free.” They fill the basket 3-4 times a week, a half dozen masks at a time and they get excited when a package arrives containing more elastic for the headbands or brightly colored cloth for the masks.

  6. To start with… these firefighters. My son is a Captain and 14 known firefighters are quarantined with the virus. They are required an extensive physical every year so thank goodness they were all healthy before the virus attacked them No hospitalization required, just quarantined for 14 to 21 days. They say the pain in their chests is excruciating. Worse than anything you can imagine. DJ

  7. What makes you cry?

    Cry? How about shreds my heart, and leaves me limp and gutted?

    That damn ASPCA commercial with their new background song – I’ll Stand By You – which I have always loved, but now every time I hear it . . . sob.

    I told my husband, the only reason I can even watch is b/c I know these animals were saved.

    The pandemic stuff is terribly sad too – but nothing, IMO, outweighs the suffering of animals at the hands of humans.

  8. It starts with a single piano note. Isolation. Hands touching with glass in-between. (I do that with my grandchildren.) More now-snaps. The piano builds gently.
    “Thank you for not driving with Uber.”
    That one always leaving me crying in my sleeve.

    Side note:
    I cannot even imagine a 1918 life without TV, computers and our phones. As bad it is now how awful it must have been then.

  9. “What makes you cry?”

    Various things might bring on a passing touch of the onion ninjas. A short video of a young boy receiving the surprise gift of a puppy, that can do it. Various scenes in various movies, those can often bring a tear or two to my eyes. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. And sometimes news articles. Hard to tell sometimes what might set me off, but it’s not really crying, nor even weeping. Just the onion ninjas.

    But when it comes to the full-blown crying jags, boy and howdy but I was gobsmacked a week or so ago while listening to U2s “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The record took me back to a time and a place and to people, long ago, far away, and it punched me square in the heart. I sat here, right here in this chair, at this computer, and I sobbed, mouth wide open in a silent scream of deep emotional pain, and I rocked back and forth until the song was done and the storm was passed. I suppose it — I won’t define it, we all know it, the same and different for each of us, this it — I suppose it had all built up inside, behind the dam that we all build within — how could we not? how could we survive if we did not? — and the dam burst. No Dutch Boy I, it overflowed.

  10. I’ve been mostly immune to the recent onslaught of melodic piano chord/tunes scoring ads and PSAs and news reports of drive-by parties. Then, last week, local radio station WWOZ aired recordings of Jazz Fests from previous years. The sounds of happy crowds cheering the musicians, the music of Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Lil’ Queenie and Professor Longhair, and any of the sets from the heart-breaking 2006 Festival left me weeping for all that should have been.

  11. Sometimes I weep because nature fills me up; sometimes a song deep from the recesses. Mostly, my kids have the capacity to elicit a faucet for one reason or another, or kill me with laughter.

  12. My shorter list would be things that don’t make me cry.

  13. Sadness, as a whole, seldom makes me cry. What brings on my tears is usually a sense of frustration or regret. That horrific feeling of helplessness.

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