the bluest eye

the bluest eye

W

hen I passed through the doorway and into the office, this stared, unblinking, back at me.

I was startled and then delighted, the typical sequence of emotions I experience when I find something unexpected and original peeking out at me from beneath a pile of paper or behind a door. Usually, the items aren’t peeking at me quite so literally.

Since listening to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events on audiobook with The Three, I developed a soft spot for imagery that incorporates eyes. Marcel began drawing all-seeing eyes in ballpoint pen on his ankle before we’d finished them all. And the next summer, while being driven back from a luncheon with several perfectly nice ladies that I barely knew, I became visibly excited over a billboard that pictured necklaces that feature stylized eyeballs as the pendant. The woman in the backseat with me tried—poorly—to downplay her confusion and mild horror.

This particular eye is also Marcel’s work. He says he’d been thinking about the British street artist Banksy because someone in his class had done a project on him. He was wondering about public art, what it would be like to have painted a ladder on the Berlin Wall, say. He considered painting an eye directly on our wall and then decided it was a bad idea. He went with sticky notes instead because they were ‘cool,’ he said.

Within hours of his putting it up, before I could even take a picture of it, pieces of the installation peeled away from the wall in fits and starts. Fractions of the eye littered the floor.

“They’re old sticky notes,” Marcel said by way of explanation.

I carefully gathered up the small, curling pages and spread them out again on the desk. I asked him if he could recreate it one more time. He agreed.