Monday, January 19, 2015
It's strange how close you become to your fellow bridge players. Most you don't know well, yet you know they always clear their throat when they are thinking or they click their fingernails before playing a card. I can tell that laugh is Penny's if I hear it from across the room but I don't know much about Penny's life history or if the throat clearer grew up in Indianapolis or Des Moines. For some reason you are connected to these people the way you might be to a family member, you might even see them more often than your own family members. When they get sick, you console them, when they have a birthday, you celebrate.
It's hard to figure because other than bridge, there might not be a thing you have in common. Politics, religion, race, education, marital status, economic status - people at the Bridge Center are all across the spectrum and your favorite person there may be on the opposite end of it from you.
Not long ago one of our own was taken ill and spent many weeks in the hospital. We thought he was doing well and that he was going to pull through, but he passed away a few days ago. We were all quite sad and spoke of how much we will miss him. But no one, not even his regular partner, knew much about him. Not that he was 52 years old, that he had been married and divorced, that he had a daughter, a son, and some grandchildren.
We just knew he was a good bridge player and could be very humerous at times. Once he taped a sign to his shirt that said "Gone to my happy place. Back soon."
It's oddly comforting knowing there's a community of people where you feel so connected to one another - for no real reason at all- that if you go away, even to your happy place, you will be missed.