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 get on the C train coming from Bed-Stuy. It is surprisingly empty, and so I sit. The man across from me is a wonderful sight. His dreads are pulled back from a wide smooth face. He is dressed, well, he has a style I have never seen before. It's urban, but not street, hip but not hip-hop, pricey but not flashy.

I am just sitting there enjoying him as the train pulls into the stop at Cobble Hill. When the doors open, his face lights up, like someone just set off a flash bomb inside him. The woman getting on must be a co-worker, they nod their greeting and she settles in next to me. She has great style too, and as she fumbles in her bag for chapstick, ipod, whatever, he is taking her in, delightedly. I watch him as he absorbs her, doe colored suede heels, skinny black pants, artful hair.

He so clearly has a huge crush on her it is a joy to watch him be besotted. When I stand to get off at my stop he slides in next to her and I am so happy he gets to sit next to the pretty girl.


Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh, yay. There are things I could say but will not say. But this is a joyful thing to read.

11:28 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

muzzle yourself? perish the thought! and he was just such a joy to watch, it was!

9:11 AM  
Anonymous famjaztique said...

If only we could bottle the joy you squeeze out of everyday moments...maybe the world would be a better place.

12:24 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

thanks froufam. sometimes I think I could chew off my own paw in paroxysms of unshared joy. It's a wierd twinning, seeing something so beautiful and not really having anyone to tell it to. Oh, I guess that's what I'm doing with this! now, don't you have breakfast to make for someone?

2:08 PM  
Anonymous famjaztique said...

I love that feeling. That exquisite pain of witnessing beauty in life. For example, tonight, 6pm, driving along my road, the sunlight had that late autumn quality of diffused intensity and the trees were all glowing and afire, and the greens so vivid...I ached with joy at the sight of so much beauty.

I always find that, even if I have someone to share a moment like this with, I still tend to keep it to myself for fear that I couldn't possibly recreate it in words.

breakfast...he beat me to it.

1:34 AM  

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