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.


Coney Island in the winter is Tom Waits. Debauched, depressed, a glass eye in the bottom of a shot of bourbon. Of course I love it. So even though invitations are stacking up in my mail box, tonight is the long train ride to the end of the F train. Tonight is the coldest night of this winter and only one skell is out, crouched at the corner darkness, curled into a question mark by the wind. The neon of Nathan’s is a harsh burn against the night, and the stark fluorescents inside turn it into a desolate Hopper painting. At a table by the wall two teenagers try to impress each other by how unimpressed they are with each other, while I am personally in awe of how much orange cheez and bacon type food product is on these waffle fries.

There is no one on the boardwalk and the old wooden slats thump echo boot heels. To the right is the blackness of the nighttime ocean, above, with no light bleed from the shuttered beer and clam joints, the sky is black enough to pick out stars. The cold front blasting through is palpable enough, but it announces its presence by singing, making the metal of the closed amusement park moan, the brackets and braces static but unquiet. Back to the open air train station where you can pick out the beat of one train pulling in, and another train pulls through and it counterpoints, then blurs, then is gone.


Blogger cherrydragonut said...

"Two teenagers try to impress each other by how unimpressed they are with each other." Thanks for reminding me. Astro-land is closing I'm sorry to say.

2:00 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

I imagined we'd have an apartment in one of the housing projects there, sparse, dank with white kitchen cabinets and windows that open out overlooking the rides, the ferris wheel perhaps and the brown beach. We'd meet there but we'd never speak. Sometimes we'd ride there on the F train in silence and I'd laugh at my urge to write a note.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Yes, this is lovely and cold, yes. And orange cheez in fluorescent. Yes.

11:16 PM  

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