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.


Kids were one of the best parts of the day. So I was prepared with pounds of candy. Oftentimes we were moving too fast to stop, I was dropping candy into little outstretched hands and then we whirled away. I was at the forefront of the group when we hit Lincoln Center, we were not yet an overwhelming force, and I think that's why these two tiny little girls, maybe 3 and four years old, were bold enough to approach me. I put a piece of candy into each of their hands, but one of them is practically dazed, the very definition of wide-eyed, she wants more from me, she wants to show me the pocket in her fuzzy lavender jacket, she wants me to hug her. And so I clasp her to me, and her sister in turn, and if there is a god he should strike me down now so I can go out in joy.

Or no, perhaps later. At the end of the night, I am tired and on my way to find a cab when I pass a restaurant that is closed for a private party. It's an extended family party, the 6-to-12 year olds are hanging out front, bored with the adults and they flag me down, hey, hey! They want to touch my wings, want to hug me, and I drop to my knees on the sidewalk, to make myself the right size for the smallest one. I hold my arms out open to them and all I can think is: joy multiplies.


Blogger eastwesterner said...

Well, you know, I think the wings are a good fit. Yeah, it fits... Everything all adds up now; you ARE an angel!

Even though I would have checked in eventually, I'm glad you pointed me here!

12:24 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

shhh. don't tell anyone! It's a secret!

1:00 PM  

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