Jerry the Balloon

So, I was walking past Project Arts Centre in Dublin today and I noticed a sign. It said, ‘Come in today and pick up a balloon before 4pm’. It was 3:30pm. I took up the invitation and went inside. I selected my balloon with great seriousness – which one had the most air in it? Looked the strongest, the perkiest? I left the centre the proud owner of a giant life-saver shaped silver balloon, which I then proceeded to walk through the streets of Dublin back home. Said balloon is now living in my room. Exhibit A:

Jerry the Balloon

He has a name. It is Jerry, which seemed as good a name as any for a balloon. That hole is big enough to fit my head through.
Some of you may ask why I wanted a silver, doughnut shaped balloon. To which I reply, why wouldn’t I want a silver, doughnut shaped balloon, if it is free? Apart from the awesome-ness that is this balloon, it is actually an artistic balloon. It was part of an Australian artist’s installation, called Panto-Collapsar, which has been in Project Arts for the past 6 weeks. I’m not normally a huge fan of installation pieces, because I find them confusing, but I was totally on board with at least half of this artwork. The half of the installation I liked was the side of the room that was taken up with a giant sheet of reflective silver material (like the stuff this balloon is made out of), which was suspended in mid-air by a collection of 30 – 40 balloons like my Jerry. I visited the installation at least 3 or 4 times over the course of the 6 weeks, and each time the silver sheet was in a different place, a different formation. It was hyper-sensitive to what was going on around it. It moved when people entered the room. It moved if you waved your arms at it. It moved if you breathed near it. It was the most fabulously hypnotic thing I’ve ever seen and I would stand in the room next to the suspended sheet of material for minutes on end, grinning like a mad woman, as my breath moved it subtly up and down in the air.
And now I have a piece of the artwork in my bedroom. Sure its not nearly as interesting, but I think the fact that I have a silver doughnut balloon in my room is pretty cool anyway. I was surprised no-one in the street stopped to ask me about my balloon. I was surprised no-one seemed to start at it, not even children. I was severely disappointed. I had grown as attached to my balloon as a person might become attached to their dog, hence why I decided to give it a name.
But, then, as I was walking down my street, a bunch of young hipsters who were about to start raising money for an animal charity came towards me. The majority of them ignored me as the rest of Dublin did. But I noticed one of them at the back, a cute guy with a shaved head, grinning at me as he went past. I consequently feel that, despite this rule never appearing in any dating manual I have ever heard of, whether or not someone finds your silver, doughnut shaped balloon as amusing as you do is as good an indicator of compatibility as anything else.


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