jolie laide

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.


I grew up pretty rural. The "corner store" was a half mile away, and had a hitching post for your horse.

We don't have stoplights. The streets are laid out in 1-mile grids, with a stop sign at each corner, each mile. The speed limit is 55 miles an hour on these narrow 2-lane roads, making them an insane stop-and-go speedway that stretches for tens, hundreds, of miles.

Some meth'ed up cowboys resent having to stop every minute, on their way to Coweta, Okmulgee, Nowata, and take out their frustration in a curious way you have probably heard of: shooting stop signs. You have seen pictures of them, riddled through and rusting like old lace, their shamed faces listing downwards.

My sister's friends take this one step further (not mine, we are too busy doing SMART kid stupid things, like having hot sauce eating contests). They beat the stop signs up. Beat them to the ground. With their fists, their feet. Stomping, punching, bloody knuckles, spit and swears flying.

I don't know what makes them do this. Inchoate fury, pure testosterone, trapped frustration. I just think they are wildly stupid and their wildness scares me.


Blogger famjaztique said...

I grew up pretty rural too, only where I was from the boys hit the stop signs with baseball bats from their moving cars.

3:16 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

frou, where are you from?

stupid jocks played mailbox baseball, those were my older sister's friends too. my friends were too busy trying to figure out how to tap into phone routers and signal light control boxes (just to turn all the lights red and irritate the crap out of people, NOT to turn them all green and kill people).

7:28 PM  
Blogger famjaztique said...

Northern country. Bout 20 minutes from the Canadian border.

1:19 AM  

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