Laundromat Art Is Giving Me Night Terrors

What do all these things have in common?

  • Two identical (perhaps slightly different sizes) framed photos of Jack & Jackie Kennedy, faded and definitely torn from the pages of Life magazine
  • A framed paparazzi shot of JFK Jr. and Caroline, plus a headshot of John-John
  • A framed soft-focus photograph of one of those crazy creepy harlequin mime-clowns with diamonds painted on his face, leaning beseechingly over a 12-year-old ballerina in a tutu who's curled up on the floor. This photo might actually be playing a slow, hurdy-gurdy "I'm going to murder you" musicbox tune, or maybe you're just imagining it, but either way, you won't recover.
  • A painting on a slab of wood involving triangles and bands of color and a black background that looks like something excavated from the Branch Davidian shakedown.
  • One of those weird wooden tabletop artist's mannequins that you can pose in any way you choose (but you probably choose some weird arched-back pose with arms flailing)?

    Stumped? These are just a few of the items in the tableau vivant that you are going to be victim to while waiting to pick up your ten weeks worth of laundry at my laundromat.

    I have spoken before about the lifetime of nightmares that can be brought on by inexplicable nail salon art. But laundromat art -- it's a whole new invitation to Crazytown.

    I was so freaked out/sent into a fugue state by the laundro-art that I could not really process the two people I saw while walking home.

    1. Perez Hilton. The gossip blogger. On the corner of St. Mark's and Second Avenue. White, leather man-loafers. I mean the shoes, not him -- Perez Hilton is not (to my knowledge) a white leather man. You know what I mean. He appeared to be motioning to me to come over to him, but I may have confused him with the harlequin clown photo back at the laundromat that was yelling after me.

    2. My neighborhood boyfriend. I am not sure how long we have been together -- maybe 8 years? I have never spoken to him. It's really a great relationship: we see each other every six months or so. When he's not around, I don't think about him. But when I do see him -- on the street, in stores and restaurants when I'm on dates with other guys, at the movies -- I fall head over heels for him again. When I see him, it is like no time has passed at all since our last tryst. We share a secret smile. Sometimes we laugh. Once, we ate dinner in the same restaurant, walked our respective dinner dates to the same corner to say goodbye, looked at each other, chuckled our secret "us" chuckle, and walked away.

    My relationship with the neighborhood boyfriend is probably my longest relationship to date. We've been going steady for almost a a decade. Today, he was decidedly less East Villagey than in the past--he'd traded his tank top and low-riding shorts for a button-down shirt, his hair (which I never noticed is sort of strawberry blond) was cut in a respectable(ish) buzz cut. He gave me our usual bemused, we're-in-love smile, and walked past.

    I've considered talking to him. I've vowed (this was in my younger years) to stop him and talk. I've possibly glanced at "Missed Connections" on Craigslist after an encounter, just in case. It is entirely possible he is five people and not just my one true love, since I would be hard-pressed to give a very accurate description of him to a police sketch artist. That's not a good thought. I hope I never have to pick him out of a line-up or call the police on him. He's my BOYFRIEND, for crying out loud. I do wonder how much he knows about me. Or if he feels the same way about me as I do about him. Because it's so hard to know. Guys can be so uncommunicative. Especially guys you've never spoken to.