The Painted Brunette

May 26, 2006

The Painted Brunette is reading a book with a large photo of a beautiful blonde on the cover. I find the contrast interesting. Brunette rakes her eyes over the pages, reading with great intensity. I watch her read for a minute before throwing myself back into my own reading material. My book does not have a beautiful blonde on the cover. Or a brunette. Or a woman. My book has a drunken crazy man on the cover and some kind of food stain on the page I am reading. No matter. Back to brunette. I take my eyes off my book of poems and watch her for a few moments. She sits demurely in her denim vest and sandblasted jeans, feet slightly askew. She finishes a page and suddenly slams her book to her lap, looks up to me. Right in the eyes. Busted. I fumble back to my book of inebriational melodrama. She’s staring. I can feel it. She’s giving me a taste of my own medicine. I find this hella uncomfortable. I’m used to being the watcher. The silent observer. The guy taking notes at the hanging. That’s why I sit at the back of the bus. So I can see everyone. But brunette really gets me. I pretend to read. I look up a few moments later. Still staring. I go back to fake reading. Still staring. I close my book and fumble with it, put it in my pack. I look up. Still. After a few long moments, she finally relents, maybe sensing my discomfort and taking pity on me. I smile at the whole thing. God dammit. Busted and taught a lesson in one fell swoop. I rest my chin upon my fist. Look out the window. The clouds are colorful this morning.

Vignette #77

2 reader comments (closed)



Great light painting.

Like the audio component here. This site just keeps getting better.

As for the brunette, whenever i get caught staring women just call the cops on me. i can only dream of being taught the same lesson you were taught.

Jun 01, 2006 • 19:26


Painted Colors

Painted Colors



StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.

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The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?

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