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 5.30 AM and the man I am looking for isn't on this train. He will still be in bed, his mouth aimed at the ceiling. The window will be slid open to morning air, the sun spill over the hills, a nest of blue sheets. He is not the man standing in front of me, as wide as the subway door, his skin so peppered with tiny moles he looks buckshot. He is not the man standing next to me, enraptured by a daily rag article, the accompanying picture of a bored starlet I don’t recognize.

The woman sitting in front of me is thumbing a novella into her Blackberry, twitching the corner of her mouth in concentration. The woman behind me smooths a dread behind her ear, smacking my shoulder bag in the process. I look to see if I am violating some personal space rule and see she is reading a book with the chapter heading The Territorial Situation. When she turns the page, she smacks me again. That’s pretty funny, I think, then I think about the woman on my other side with a treble clef tattooed under her left ear, wonder where the bass clef is, under her other ear, or lower down somewhere, I guess, if she has a sense of humor.

It’s a beautiful morning. I get to say good morning to Knobs as he leans on his broom, smile all the way back to my molars, watch a moving van back and cut its way around a tight corner, make infinity signs with my hands waiting at the corner.


Post a Comment

<< Home