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 need this more than I care to admit. Trying to change it up, I run up the stairs from the subway, try to clear my head from the stench of the crazy woman on my train. I head to the bodega, to the man who will say "Good morning, Beautiful" because perhaps that small kindness will redeem me, make me feel whole enough to face the rest of my day.

Parked outside the tiendita is a huge pit bull. He is no house pet, he is un-neutered and his ears are cropped like I have seen the Russians do for illegal dog fighting down in Little Odessa. Many would fear him, and he is fearsome, a solid 100 pounds of muscle. I look at him and he does not stare me down, so reach my hand out to his enormous head. He accepts my pets impassively while I praise him lavishly.

Out of the store with my croissant and coffee and I look at the pit bull again, but this time, he looks back and starts to wag his tail. I pet him again, rub the short fur on his head, and then he breaks, shows his sweetness, leans his whole body against my leg, to soak up affection. I tell him how beautiful he is, and he is beautiful, stregnth and tenderness there by my side, and there is my redemption and there is the start of my day.


Blogger slickaphonic said...

nothing like a gi-normous, muscled pitbull licking your palm to remind you that even the strong need love, and are also loveable.

1:24 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

oh how sweet, I had not even thought of it that way. Thank you.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Yes, this piece and Saturday's are a good pair.

2:37 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Like the Bodega-man, a warm and genuine "Good evening Bella" from the Latin waiter in the Italian restaurant that used to be in my building had such a sooothing effect. "The Bodega-Man." Who is the Bodega-Man??? It's a catch e phrase like the name of a novel or a character in a crime drama, like a 1970s 4:30 movie, with a song backdrop, Bondlike, "Secret Agent Man"..."They've given you a number and taken away your name..." Huh? A friend of mine actually sang a parody of the tune and dubbed it "Secret Asian Man!" It was funny. The Bodega-Man. Wonder if he knows Mr. Potato Head. And yeah, I need this more than I care to admit. I have a relationship with this blog.

11:59 AM  

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