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Jason Chatfield

The Man in The Hat, New York (2022)

The Man in The Hat, New York (2022)

Regular price $200.00
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Size: 14 × 11 in (355 x 280 mm)
Ink: India Ink & Watercolor
Paper: 220lb watercolor paper
1 of 1: Signed and numbered
(Frame not included)

June 28, 2022
Chelsea, New York

“I swear to God it was Louie on a Citibike in a tuxedo,” I said, sweating profusely and coughing up a lung.

“It was him,” I insisted. “He was looking at his phone on the corner, then he sped away.” I put my head back on the pillow. Sophie put the back of her hand against my forehead and said, “You still have a pretty bad fever. I wouldn’t go out again today. I don’t know why you even tried.” This was my third bout with COVID. Not quite as existentially threatening as my first, in 2020, but I wasn’t enjoying myself.

An hour earlier, my left eye had opened after a 22-hour sleep, complete with sweaty fever dreams and intermittent shivering. My right eye was glued shut with rheum. I decided, in my dizzy wisdom, to pop a Tylenol, mask up, and take the dog outside for a pee.

I made it half a block before I felt like I was going to pass out. I lurched for the wall and put my face against the cold bricks to stay conscious. Morris yanked on the leash and lifted his leg to pee as a man in a tuxedo and fedora pulled up to the fire hydrant on a Citi Bike. He was looking at his phone. He looked up at the street sign, then back down. I swear it was Louis C.K. I tried to get a photo, but in my dazed state, I only managed to snap one before he took off down the block.

None of it makes any sense, and I was delirious, but he does live nearby. When I checked his Instagram, I saw he was due to be in the neighborhood that afternoon for a screening of his new film, "Fourth of July." The one thing I can’t figure out is why he was riding a bike.

I slunk back under the covers and immediately fell back asleep. The room fell silent as Morris nestled in beside me, his presence a warm comfort until he disrupted the peace with a thunderous fart. I was deeply thankful to have lost my sense of smell.


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