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.


This book is making me remember. About the man I used to date, who would crack my back by coming up behind me and squeezing me. Hard. So hard that once he burst blood vessels in my eye. About the time I got into the car with the man I was married to. There was a greasy film on the inside of the windshield. "Don't let your girlfriend smoke in the car anymore, okay?" I'm sure I could not keep the weariness out of my voice. About the men I was in love with previously, a bookend pair of blond, casual, wealthy, and insurance that we would always be playing out an F. Scott Fitzgerald of class desire with me in the soon-forgotten role of the girl who arrived at the party with the wrong shoes.

I bought the book today at the bookstore that always feels horribly barren, not much better than an airport magazine shop shoehorned between the coffee and tired pastry stand and the place that sells whatever-city-you-are-in sweatshirts and snowglobes for those who have just realized there might be value in leaving, even if value is only a 50/50 poly blend t-shirt in the size your child was the last time you thought you knew. Even if I didn't already know this bookstore is about shopping for a lifestyle, as opposed to looking for a treasured friend, that would have been borne out in the row of cash registers, a line of eight, with only one lonely skinny college boy, shuffling from foot to foot. Still, I have to work my way through a colon lined with specialty chocolates and pocket sized cat calendars to make my purchase. On my way out I can't help but notice the soaring syrupy string rendition of "Ave Maria" as I pass the Help Desk. It's prominently located and I have to give them props for understanding how helpless their customer base is. On cue, she walks up, 45 years of sun damage and so many varicose veins her skin looks like Silly Putty left on a cheese grater. With her white terry cloth sun visor acting as muse she demands, "Do you have any Rachel Ray cookbooks? On sale?"

I'll read for the rest of the night. Tomorrow, I start working again.


Blogger slickaphonic said...

there's just so much here...i don't know where to start.

6:55 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

violence! betrayal! longing! we got it all right here! I can't imagine why you would be overwhelmed. Or is it just moving to federal disneyland that has you undersea?

10:40 PM  
Blogger slickaphonic said...

your post was overwhelming, but so is "federal disneyland", multiple apartment moves, hard drive crashes, job-marketing and blah blah blah.

and your posts have been really excellent of late!

4:18 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

thank you, dearie. Rachel Ray on sale is so hilarious to me.

12:54 PM  

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