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.


This can of baked beans is humiliating me. It has been sitting in my cabinet for over a year, it has probably been in my possession for well over twice that. It came from a man now long gone, a terrifically bad pairing, and this can of something that would never cross my mind to eat is an embarassing testament to how far I would go.

Noone needs to know it is there. I could just not say anything. But it is like the tell-tale heart, beating and radiating in the dark, it's very presence a constant reminder.

OK, enough of this already. I know exactly what to do. To the grocery store. A pound of ground sirloin. An onion. Back at home, combine that with garlic, a half a bottle of ketchup from the same man and era--two birds with one stone there, the last of the coarse ground mustard, finally the dreaded baked beans. Cook it up, serve it on a bed of tortilla chips.

There we go. That is so much better.


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