Jerry Seinfeld is doing performance art in a museum. He leaves a hat out, and people can interact with it how they like. But only one interaction per hat.
I kick the hat.
He fetches it, puts it away, and takes out another hat. I feel bad because it seems like I just wasted that last hat. The new hat is squat and cylindrical, with a medium-sized brim. It's made of thick, yarn-like thread. I pick it up and start unraveling it.
The thread is weaved over and under, and pull and yank on it, as if unthreading shoe laces or undoing a knot. I unwrap with my right hand, pull with my left, turning the hat for a better angle. Mesmerized by my task, I unravel the hat with increasing fury.
Seinfeld is filming everything on a small video camera. On the other side of me is a middle-aged woman, seated, watching. I hand her the end of the thread and turn the remnants of the hat around and around. The hat spins, and the woman stares, enraptured.
Finally, we get to the last bit, where the thread is wrapped around a small piece of cardboard keeping the top of the hat sturdy. I look over to the woman with anticipation. She smiles and awkwardly pretends to faint from excitement, to defuse the tension of her anticipation. I give her a nod. She gives me a smile. And she YANKS on the remaining thread... The top of the hat spins, spins, SPINS... and the cardboard is FLUNG UP... and then YANKED back by a small clip where the thread was held to it. The thread is pulled taut... and then the cardboard lands in my hand.
I remove the clip and look over at Jerry. He nods. I hand the clip to the woman for her to keep. She clutches it close to her chest. The thread and the cardboard I return to Jerry.
And I calmly walk away.
But just as I pass through the doorway, I look back at Seinfeld and mime that he should send me a copy of the video.
* * *
And then I wake up.