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 may be full of beauty here and the lovers walking together and the tourists with their cameras strapped would be proof that it's true but it's not my kind of beauty and I am left starving for something else. I am too tired to look for more and too full to receive it anyway and the people in front of me are telling me things I don't want to know.

The woman who sits in the ferry seat next to the slot for wheelchair access. She is making an ugly bet that no-one will need the space and she won't have to house her clutter of bags around her ankles. With her naked skin she would like you to think she is gorgeous naturally but I know each one of her eyelashes is fake and the spill of hair down her back is fake too.

This woman is wobbling across the trolley tracks risking her neck with virtiginously high heels. From behind that danger is eclipsed by the fountain of her hair, a stiff spread of radiated halo. I can smell it from 5 feet behind her. She has downgraded to the the $.99/can spray, economic downturn forcing her into Aqua Net territory.

In line at the 7-11 I watch the street worker nodding out standing up at the front of the cash register line. It's an amazing feat, baffling the Sikh guys behind the counter. I'm baffled too. I examine her careful get-up, the matching pink plastic sandals, belt, purse, her arms and legs bared by clothing way too stingy for an overcast day. I can't find the track marks, she has been doing this long enough to get clever but not long enough to get sloppy. It's a fine and awesome balance.


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