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.

9.21.2006

A loud voice, an Irish brogue “At least there’s one real man on this train!” I let my hair fall over my eyes, to provide subterfuge while I scan the car. I can’t tell if it’s a statement or a challenge, but my fixin-to-get-ninja-on-someone’s-ass alarm is going off. Peering through the crowded train I find him, his clothes are clean and new, he’s not a streeter. His rough large face is flame red and as he asks the two Caribbean women what they are knitting I am not sure if he is drunk or just foreign. As he prepares to exit, he tells them “You’re on your own now!” and I can smell it as he passes by me. Pissed out of his mind at 10AM.

Out on the sidewalk I see a couple embracing. They are dressed in the clothing of the day laborer, their tiny stature tells me they come from an underdeveloped country, of generational food scarcity. They part, and in Spanish I hear her promising to meet him again at 7 that evening. I can only see the side of his face, the apple of his cheek, it’s curve intimating the enormity of his smile.

And now I am back on the train and there is an angel in this car. He must be coming off a night shift. He is angular and angled across two seats in the corner. His construction boots, work pants, t-shirt are filthy, caked in dirt. His head is thrown back, deeply asleep, and his clean face is a shining restful beauty.

4 Comments:

Blogger remue-menage said...

the drama of intersecting lives - so mysterious, so intrigueing

I love how these lives come into focus under your gaze - briefly, intensely

lovingly rendered in ttractor cinemascope

5:52 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

I wish I could take you with me, show you what I see. Leaving work today the sun was hitting all the windows in a row of parked cars, flaming them all out in a line. I knew my camera could not capture it, and there was noone by my side for me to say see! to and the vision would only live in my head.

11:19 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Dear Ann Landers/Ttractor,
Does it matter who leads the first dance? How would you let a guy know that you like him?
Signed,
Ditched a Distiny

10:01 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

ya know, it matters to me. I have now realized that if he isn't "whatever" enough to approach me with his interest, he isn't "whatever" enough to keep up with me. And although I have had misfires regardless of who started it, the ones where I chased him down seemed to be the more dramatic of the failures to connect. I have no idea if that helps at all. What the hell do I know? I am good at interior painting.

4:02 PM  

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