• 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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A writer who I work with has been struggling for a long time with a project. Over the years we’ve hypothesized about what is keeping her from her goal. Covid, a death in the family, toggling between points of view, no apparent structure, then the psychological possibilities: fear, depression, fear, depression. Anger, fear, depression. Her last book tanked, to be blunt, and there’s that, too. The specter of that failure looming like a dark cloud. In the end it doesn’t matter. You are a writer, you are a tank, fuck the fuck out of it. Delicate flowers need not apply.

Do you feel me?

11 Responses

  1. I sure do. I remember being very, very, very young and getting my first rejection. Felt like crawling under the covers, head-first. And then, somehow, I just knew, and I said directly to myself: can’t be a writer and deal with rejection this way. And that was that. With age, I am ever more sanguine. I love writing. I love being me. Whatever else comes along is extra.

  2. Writers write. Finishing and publishing are other matters.

  3. You are a writer, you are a tank, fuck the fuck out of it. YES!

  4. “Do you feel me?”

    Yes, though my hands are here.

  5. Wait a minute: were y’all hiding in a corner of my office, listening to my laments, when you were inspired to pen this post? I’m the salmon swimming upstream, the Okie leaning against the dust storm, the little raft facing the tidal wave and, yet, I’m still writing.

  6. Yes. Yes indeed. Yes indeedy do.

  7. Yes.

    There’s nothing to be done about it except finish and let it go.

  8. I’m a rusted jalopy with flat tires, an empty gas tank, and no place I want to go. I have nothing to say in my defense. When things get hard, I quit. I wish I were like Patti Smith on the night she sang Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at his Nobel Prize ceremony. The song is a thousand minutes long and amazingly wonderful, but written in Dylan’s usual literary jargon. Patti Smith is unbelievably talented, but she hit a patch of nerves a third of the way in and froze. Instead of bursting out in sobs and running off the stage like I would have, she went back in, started the verse over, and wowed the tuxedo–gown–tiara–wearing audience and killed that song. That performance was given by one of the most courageous people I’ve ever seen.

  9. Oh yeah! I am holding up my phone with the flashlight on and screaming, Tank, Tank, Tank, all the while absolutely terrified and sweaty and insanely pumped and knowing after the show I’ll just go back to the struggle of the bank page like a chicken shit whispering, how in holy hell do I become a tank?

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