jolie laide: Commuting & Wondering 1-31

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.


Commuting & Wondering 1-31

Out of the subway on Monday and the sky is such a beautiful blue. But I look down as I head to work. I pass the food pantry, where the elderly Chinese immigrants line up early, age-twisted bodies, shabby shoes. The line is a silence of fear, hunger, palpable misery on public display. I know not to look them in the face, cause them any more indignity.

In the looking down, I see stuck to the pavement the streamers of yesterday’s new year celebrations. Wet to the sidewalk from an overnight rain, brilliant streaks and blotches of exuberant blues and purples stretch all the way down the block. I follow them down the street to my office, wondering about how joyous those shuffling on the hand-out line had been yesterday, holding the hands of their grandchildren, the dragons, the red envelopes, the firecrackers


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