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 kir royale to offset what I know is to come: white quail stuffed with foie gras, apple compote, wild venison served rare, tiny grilled brussel sprouts, sweet onion tatin. By far the better half of a bottle of wine, a warm gateau chocolat, a glass of champagne.

Then we head to the art school, where every year they pipe steam from the generation plant out onto the sculpture yards and into a collection of old steam whistles. At midnight the cords are pulled on a dozen whistles, from ear-piercing shriek to foghorn bellow. The dark sky is filled with clouds of steam and as it cools it precipates onto our upturned faces. The noise is so loud our chests vibrate but that does not stop us from grabbing a rope and pulling, feeling the power on the other end of the cord, the vibration that works itself all the way up your arm. We scream into the mist but can't hear our own voices, only see each others teeth shining in smiles in the half light.

When we have had enough we stumble to the back of the crowd. A family is holding hands, dancing around a tree and hollering "Auld Lang Syne" but there are not enough of them to complete the ring and so we join, grabbing hands, and pull others in too, and we are whirling around and around, forgetting the words and scatting instead, around and around, making joy with strangers in the middle of the night. We twirl ourselves dizzy and what a way to enter the new year, breathless, staggering, grinning.


Blogger Dr. S said...

Hooray. Welcome to the new year.

7:11 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

happy new year happy new year happy new year darling!

11:14 AM  

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