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.


Up at 4.30 this morning to the sound of scraping snow plows and yelping emergency vehicles. All other noise is dampened by what I don’t want to think about because now I am just praying for the Shovel Fairy to come and dig out my house. I have a full bore dread of this chore, it’s cold and wet and I hate working my way down from the top of the high steps, unnaturally hunched over.

The alarm goes off at 7 and I resignedly go out to do that thing. It’s a thick snow, but wet, and easy to scrape clean to the bottom. The Shovel Fairy hasn’t come to my neighbor’s house either. So I do. I hope they are happy when they go out their doors later on.

More than one of my friends has likened me to Amelie Poulain, I think they like to imagine me imping about creating beauty. But I think it is there for everyone, I just try hard to keep my head up for it, or down, as the case may be.

On yesterday’s run I met up with teenagers dressed like the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man. Dorothy was a little further down the block, fussing with her shoes, plain black ones, not ready to go back to Kansas yet. The Tin Man was particularly fetching, in silver spandex pants, a silver mylar bomber jacket, and a colander on his head.

A couple of blocks later I ran past our notoriously short, famously rotund Borough President, out for a grand parade around the park, and looking very much like he should catch up to the others and claim his place as the Mayor of Munchkinland.

I keep going, all the way down the length of the park, expecting the Lollipop Guild to launch themselves from over the stone walls. My friends would not be surprised and perhaps, at this point, I wouldn’t be either.


Blogger michael said...

Fortune favors the prepared.

1:56 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

My neighbors were sleeping this morning while they got their sidewalk shovelled. How did they manage to prepare for that and I didn't?

2:02 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Jack Frost use to leave entire ice forests carved into our windows. We use to breathe in them, play with them.

Sounds like you’re quite the Snow Fairy ttractor. Then again fairies can be mischievous. It's great that you'd provide a service like that for your tenants and neighbors. Then again a slip and slide tort is no Charlotte Rousse. Thank you on behalf of everyone.

I remember women of the houses wearing boots and work gloves with their coats over their housedresses, and sweeping and salting the snow from the sidewalks and stoops.

And in the summer, their shovels would become green hoses, and they'd be in their kerchiefs on top of their rollers, and open backed, open toed sandals and slippers, spraying all the pavements, patios and gardens all the way to the gutter.

But in Jersey, the boys did it. They shoveled snow and mowed the lawns.

2:51 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Amelie Poulain perhaps at the Algonquin Round Table.

4:10 PM  
Blogger michael said...

Your neighborliness is clearly their good fortune. Hence, they are prepared.

I'm quite sure this question was utterly rhetorical, its answer already understood. Still, I appreciate the chance to wax clever oon your blog. ;)

12:40 AM  

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