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.


He is blinking and bleary, he looks like he woke up 10 minutes ago. I wonder what that looked like, bed-headed, a thin sheet twisted around an ankle, a pillow come undressed in the night and showing its blue-ticked skin. I wonder what woke him, a blinking alarm, a cat's paw, a girl. He yawns, I look away to keep from staring.

It must be the day for sleepy men, for at another station the man next to me has just tumbled out of bed too. His face is turned away from me and his hair is uncombed, dirty, massing at the back of his head. I lean away, look down. Someone has written on the bench "let magic in." I appreciate the advice.


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