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.

9.12.2006

The girl steps onto the train, leans against the closed doors, and beckons her companion to join her. Her girlfriend steps into the open arms, and I watch as they snug themselves together, fitting against each other. It is so achingly sweet, such a simple familiar choreography of movement. I realize how much I miss, not touch, but having a body be so familiar. Knowing just how the shoulder cants, the ribs align, the hip notches, to meld into comfort.

People on the train smell surprisingly good, their first of the morning smells, still of clean and soap, tea and toast. I am standing at the bottom of the subway stairs, waiting for my chance to ascend and the bright blue sky hovers above me like a balloon. When I burst up from the station my headphones are playing Liz Phair’s “Extraordinary” and I can swing down the street in joy.

4 Comments:

Blogger robot said...

You should get yourself a mannekin or blowup doll and take it on the train with you. Pretend like you are lovers.

2:15 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

there is a subway busker who dances with a mannequin, each of her feet strapped to each of his shoes. but that is not quite the embrace I realized I was missing this morning. the feeling was only fleeting, anyway. there was so much else to look at, to smell, and finally, the release to the street.

3:34 PM  
Blogger remue-menage said...

the choreography of a hug - how wonderful a thought

I too ache for the easy familiarity of fitting my body into the embrace of another

I find hugs to be treacherous - my impulse is to press mere acquaitances to my chest as if we're standing on the deck of the sinking Titanic ... but I've found some family and friends are shocked by such reckless abandon, and then the hug turns awkward & awful

as an overflowing experiment in lovemaking - a cyber acquaitance of mine (I know her much like I know you) stood on a corner in Ontario, Canada with a plackard on her chest declaring -Free Hugs-. in fact I think it was an art project (up your alley) with a photographer capturing the moments - she had photographs it was wonderful. she related that at first she was very shy, but once she warmed up to it she had a fantastic time - and needed those hugs herself. group hugs - she hugged a police officer - everybody warm enough to take her up on the offer

10:34 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

r-m, there was a guy in Washignton Square Park who used to do this. I thought about joining him one Saturday, it looked so fun and joyous!

I think I surprise people when I hug them. I don't do the boo-boo-kitty, I do a full on clasp. And if that means I press my chest against someone, well, so be it. I never really thought about how awkward or provocative or misunderstood that could be until just recently. hmm.

5:41 PM  

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