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.


Nearly every day I write little pieces in my head. But I don't get around to actually writing them down. So I feel like I am writing, even though it is clear to you I am not.

I am trying to get used to everything. Like getting used to being loved is not a huge job unto itself. I recall, and not infrequently, the looks on my girlfriends' faces once. I told them what my answer was when he says he loves me. It's an answer that makes perfect sense to me: thank you. They each cringed at me, 1, 2, 3, and apparently I am inept, although thankfulness seems a complete and sincere response. On second thought, I don't think getting used to being loved is a wise idea. I'd rather be grateful.

The orange and lemon and grapefruit trees in the yard seem to be taking a break from producing. Now it is burgeoning grapes and olives and lavender and shrub roses that are no good to bring indoors. On my walk to the post office today I am passing thickset thistles, wild poppies, free range anise, and things that resemble windflowers but so uniform and fuchsia they look like plastic decorations on a bicycle basket.

At the grocery store the check out boy speaks to me in spanish, like of course I will understand him, this was his country first, anyway. And I do, but only because I took a couple of years of it in college, when I finally dropped the fantasies of travel and rarefied study, stopped with the italian and french and german and russian, and realized that I valued more the chance to speak and understand people living around me.

This is not what I meant to write today. But it will have to do.


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