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.


A grey day, and I am playing boozy droopy blues into my ears and thinking about a dare I made to a friend, to rise to the challenge of revealing the source of her sadness. I think about how I would answer this question myself, a simple five words, or an elaborate five hundred. Frame it up starkly, use a spare devastation to speak for me, or describe it in a furious self immolation. The music unwinds like a long bridge over a wide river and it reminds me to pick up my head and I am so glad that I do.

I see him walking towards me, and he is doing what I recognize from when I am playing music that jolts me, swings me around, makes the whole world sparkle. He is walking with his head up, his headphones on, and whatever he is listening to, it is giving him a beautiful day, making him grin with a complete openness, his face so wide, so joyous, and we look each other full in the face and smile and smile and smile.


Blogger eastwesterner said...

There have been times when it was really bad and I knew what I had to do. I went running to my music racks. Therein lie the only cure.

One of my favourite "rescuers," one you may not know and that you might want to check out: "When the Morning Comes" by Daryl Hall & John Oates. It's the first song on their first album, Abandoned Luncheonette.

Blues, huh? Care to divulge some favourites? Or even who you were listening to during your encounter? For me, it's always been John Lee Hooker.

9:07 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

Ah, I'm not so bad. Whenever I work on projects dealing with the homeless population I get funky. I was listening to Gillian Welch's Time (The Revelator) albumn (again. again. again).

1:40 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

John Lee Hooker terrified me once as a 17 year old. He and his band came in and took over the backroom at the restaurant I was working in, late, after we were just about to close. None of the waitstaff would go in there, this room full of late-night, carousing, devil-music playin, out-of-towners. They sent me in as chicken. That was not nice!

1:44 PM  

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