jolie laide: The Banana Comes in Second

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


The Banana Comes in Second

My grandfather and grandmother ran the family’s pharmacies in a small upstate county. Real, old-fashioned ones, with wooden thump-echo floors, mortar and pestles they used to grind compounds, high tin ceilings.

We loved to visit our grandparents, not only because we could walk in the cool mountains, but because we could visit the pharmacy and pick one piece of candy. That’s ONE, for both my sister and I to share.

At three years old, the Life Savers display is eye level and a sumptuous riot of possibilities. I could stand there all day, delicious agony and anticipation, savoring my place at the threshold of decision. My sister will make the choice. We both like Butter Rum, satisfyingly homogenous throughout the roll. But also Fancy Fruit, with the breathless drama of each piece being different, each one a potential joy or disappointment. We have rules, the two of us: we open and very rigorously take turns picking off the top candy, no skipping, no whining, no trading if you get the dreaded, awful, sick lymph-colored pineapple. We know what we each are secretly hoping for, yearning with the singlemindedness of the very young, that spiked moment of joy: the one and only coconut. Or secondly, banana (of course).


Blogger famjaztique said...

Oh...I liked the pineapple...

10:36 PM  
Blogger famjaztique said...

p.s. I just started a new blog, and so far I've linked you and will link whoever else I find from the old neighborhood. It will mostly be repeats of what you've already read (to start out) interspersed with new things.

10:42 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

oh I am so glad! I didn't want to lose you. Awwgolly, Mayhem, BookloverS and Stepanova are all out here, too. I'm just too big of a dope to link up with them...yet.

pineapple. blech. why couldn't you have been my sister?

8:34 AM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

It's true. Many of us are out here.

1:04 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

but here's the sorta strange thing. just about everyone has a different name. do you like being BookloverS or Dr S better? I definitely like being a ttractor much more. Mayhem has so many names I think I should just holler "hey you!"

1:34 PM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I like being Dr. S better. I like my persona out here better, and I only took BookLoverS because it was the middle of the night when I picked a handle and because I wasn't about to have "Doctor" in my personals ad handle. Or, as someone who links to my blog spells it, "Doktor." Also, I was trying very hard to weed out non-readers from the get-go. I'm never, ever, ever going to trade in my geek card, so I didn't want anyone who would think, "Oh, what a nerd." Out here, less worry about that. Anyone who keeps reading me after word #3 is probably also a nerd.

9:31 PM  

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