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.


Friday night of a four day weekend. Yellow flashing sign F train Culver local and I'm riding it to the end. None of these people will be with me when I get off. The man turning a greyed rubberband into a cat's cradle. The woman clutching an enormous coffee in one hand, chewing the nails of the other so ferociously entire fingers disappear into her mouth. The torpid security guard I recognize from dozens of shared benches at the downtown station.

We go above ground at the raised brutal pilings of the Gowanus Expressway, indifferent father to fuel oil depots and condemned coal processing lots. There's the lit sign of a gas station, ratty straggling holiday lights at the mouth of Red Hook, then the turn into the peeling rusty platform over the canal.

It will be a long ride but I need to see Coney Island one time this winter. Below freezing is no way to stand on winter still street corners, it's simply the only way, this evening. Cross six lanes of asphalt aginst the light and without even looking, there is no one here and I need the red neon burning cold like an Edward Hopper. I need the profound chill, the deep quiet, the living isolation, just this once this winter.


Blogger E. Coli said...

I remember the penguins at the aquarium having so much fun on a bitterly cold winter's day in Coney Island oh so long ago.

5:02 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

The aquarium used to be a New Year's Day ritual for me. All the cold weather animals seemed so relaxed and there are so few people there. I am a huge fan of the walruses, myself.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh, hooray -- a picture again!

6:28 PM  

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