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.


It’s a rainy morning, the cables outside my window strung with water drops. The light is opalescent, grey and shimmering, turning the concrete block wall, the rusting barb wire, listing fence staves into the nacred interior landscape of a junkyard oyster.

I am grateful for the rain. The overwintered plants are back out on the stoop. The rosemary, lavender, chives and little alpine strawberries are ready to drink in the sky. And the rain will wash the sidewalks, clean away the ugly splat of vomit from in front of the methadone clinic, the tragically mishandled ice cream cone smearing the front of the dry cleaners.

Trackwork on my subway line makes this a halting jerky ride. I am listening to drowsy gentle music, keeping my face open, but I am seeing nothing until the train grinds to a halt and there through the scratched glass, harshed from construction lamps, an old Revs graf piece. I have heard of this, they are legendary, this man deep in the tunnels, spraying his autobiography into the dark in huge swathes. This is “page 50…catholic school and drugs” and ends with “I was an asshole.”

The train starts up again, and with this sleepy music, this sudden subterranean confession, I am not prepared for midtown this morning. I am wearing red, but that is not enough. Spin the dial on the machine, bring up "Storm in a Teacup" bellicose, crashing, and now I am ready to shark the business district, stride hard, mouth full of razors.


Blogger The London Lifer said...

Have you notice how often you post about weather and your journey to work . . . the two are clearly interconnected for you somehow?

4:55 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

well, they are definitely constants, gotta leave the house, gotta go to work. And the quality of both certainly effects my mood. And then there is heartbreak, and running. And if I were being cruel, I could say that sums it up. Oh dear, am I boring?

5:50 PM  
Blogger VelVerb said...

No silly, you're not boring. I wouldn't keep coming back here if you were.

10:38 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

aw, thanks. I am being a bit self-mocking. My life does at times seems rather closely circumscribed.

12:02 PM  

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