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.


Increased bird song in the back of the house wakes me. That, and a neighbor’s new dog who barks out an occasional gruff warning. The light on the front stoop makes me pause, it is so brilliant, and not just that, warm, too, finally. I can hear a verbal altercation happening around the corner, men’s voices deep and angry, bouncing off the warming bricks of the avenue. The pigeons are back to nesting in the pediment above the doorway. At least, I think that’s a pediment. Now I am realizing how much classical architecture has gone out of my head.

The train is crowded, and I am looking over the shoulder of this woman’s newspaper at the headline “Brooklyn Comic Kills Self” and I am thinking that is very funny and not funny at all. I am remembering a conversation with a friend about ways we would kill ourselves, if we would. His way was a horrible slashing arc, designed to traumatize any who saw or heard about it, a spiteful terrible act of self hatred. Comparatively, mine was easy to clean up, little impact, little pain. A quiet collapse for when I finally get tired of trying to expand, to reach out, when I finally get tired of being told I am too big, I want too much, when the power of what I see and a persistent inability to share it profoundly is no longer what I want.

For now, I am still dancing in thunderstorms, face upturned, asking for the sky to strike me.


Blogger The London Lifer said...

Horrible but true :-

A few years ago there was a trend in Japan (where everything is fashion driven) for killing yourself in a particular way. Amongst the schoolkids who'd finally cracked under the exam pressure the suicide method 'du jour' was to sneak into an industrial plant and when no-one was looking run up and put your head under a steam hammer.

Not sure where I read about that . . . but you have to admit if you want to really traumatize someone that's probably the way to go.

3:35 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

Holy shit. I can't imagine wanting to hurt someone else that badly. Or myself, either.

I'm more a "don't mind me, I'm just quietly de-sanguinating somewhere with a drain nearby" type.

4:05 PM  

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