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.


I've got the attention span of a gnat on crack today. My face is cleaned but my teeth aren't. The dishes are half done, a box in the bedroom is half unpacked, half of a recycling project is completed. Maybe I should just unload something.

I have been thinking about Michael Allen's first day of high school as a freshman. I stole his lunch. Stealing is perhaps not the right term, as is connotes a sneakiness and a wrongness. I simply expropriated it, in front of his and my friends, by sliding it along the table where it was resting, and onto my lap. "Hey! That belongs to Mike the Indian Guy! You can't do that!" Sure I can. It's my first day at this school too, but I'm a junior. I'm a bigger, barelegged dirt girl coming off a six month stint in foster care. That ended when my mother called, crying, begging me back home, telling me she was on a new medication and that "it won't happen again."

When I look into Mike the Indian Guy's lunch bag and see his neatly wrapped sandwich, a little box labelled Dinosaur Egg, his special treat for his first big day at the big school, I know I have swiped the right lunch. His mother loves him. There will be more food for him when he gets home. His lunch will be packed for him again tomorrow, and the next day, and there probably won't even be any screaming involved. So I don't mind at all practicing my petty Marxism on him, everybody gets according to their need, and my need is greater.

I am thinking about this because I have been packing the boy's lunch for his first days at his new high school. I want to make sure he has enough to eat, that it's what he likes to eat, that it will take care of him without making him look over-protected, or attracting the attention of girls like I was. I don't want him to meet a girl like me. I don't want him to know about that kind of life, not yet, at least.


Blogger slickaphonic said...

I never know what to say when you post things like this..."I know", because I do? or "so beautiful" because you capture "it"--without the maudlin over-dramatics? Or "does the truck feel lighter?" because I hope it does, for you to carry less, and to encourage you to keep unloading because I want to keep reading.

1:23 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

Thank you, dearheart. Part of this was a gift for you, so you will know how I know when a little dog becomes a force in your life.

12:00 PM  

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