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 am walking with my head down, I am thinking about a man who wore his masculinity so easily on his skin, as his skin. He adorned himself casually but never fussy, a simple strand of beads, earrings, rings. Once, in a game, comparing hands, he slipped a ring off his finger and onto mine. When he would not let me take it off the game became a gesture, the gesture made my heart beat faster, tangling in my chest. I am passing a basement mah-jongg parlor, the door is propped open and I can hear the spill of the tiles, the clacking and slapping as they are mixed in preparation for a game. The tick-ticking sounds like the words that followed the game of putting the ring on my finger. Hollow, hollow, clakety clack.

Out of the subway, tucking my book under my arm, my head is still down. Now I am thinking of all the art I have subjected myself to recently, all so filled with self-loathing and despair. No wonder I feel leached, leeched. Men on the streets are converging on the mosque for evening prayer. I turn the corner to a sidewalk game of basketball, the muslim boys playing their last minutes before the swirling chant calls them in. One of the boys yells for a time out, and I know it is to clear the way for me to pass. I look up to see my path cleared, save one boy hurtling toward me, rushing mid-stride towards the basket. I turn my shoulder to take the brunt of the impact, to stop his rushing exuberance, our eyes meet, startled, and he pulls back, wheels past me, avoiding collision. I continue, my heart beating faster, snarled against my ribs.


Anonymous famjaztique said...

Time to read a trashy feel-good novel. Maybe it won't satisfy your intellect, but it will fill you up like peanut butter and fluff.

8:24 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

I am planning on some fun this weekend. I finally finished this book. I turn it over to look at the quotes on the back one of the says "A miracle..." and I am thinking, "a miracle of hipster ironic sadness inducing bullshit!" oops. there goes my Gentle Artist rating.

11:22 PM  
Blogger famjaztique said...


11:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home