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 lost my guidepost. My commute is 100 miles every day, done only with an eye towards getting there. Halfway through the highway miles just over the left lane marker there has been a dead animal. I've been watching it stiffen and flatten through days of rain, just a brief moment just before a rise. But now it's gone, and I miss it.

On Monday she came into work looking like the time my cat got out and and slept all night under a car in a rain storm. On Tuesday her eyes were rimmed with red. She's young enough and far enough from home that any number of things could be going on. I noticed, but said nothing. On Friday she tells me she needs time off. The symptoms are worse, she needs tests, it could be a brain tumor.

It's spring migration here. Last week it was monarch butterflies, this week swallows. There are calla lilies in the yard and the neighbors down the hill have early roses, but I keep thinking about the woman who sat next to me at a bar last night, with a surgically altered nose, dyed hair, and hands that were older than her face.


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