Where Are the Invisible Galleries?

The Invisible Galleries are all around us.

Walk down to the local Kwik-E-Mart with me. The lady behind the counter there is always jolly, ready to smile and laugh. But she has hideous teeth. Several are missing and some are dark with the stains of what-I-don’t-know. I’ll bet her Invisible Gallery could show us how her teeth got that way and why she still has the courage to smile at everyone. Maybe she’s on drugs.

One of the older gentlemen who lives near me sits on his front porch with a bottle of Jack Daniels under his chair about one evening in three. Sometimes he is fully dressed with cowboy boots, jeans and a big, colorful belt buckle. Sometimes he’s barefoot and in a bathrobe. When I walk past with my dog he smiles and waves at me and very clearly says, “Foodle pomp, garwen nalgas.” I’m half-afraid he’s going to show me his Invisible Gallery so I smile and wave back. “Noog arman,” I say.

I work one day a week in a bookstore. A tiny blonde woman comes in most days, she never buys anything but she always has an air of urgency when she rushes through the door. She looks like a well-preserved cheerleader, pushing sixty with her hair in a ponytail. “What are they going to do now?” she asks. “The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is on fire and Ted Kennedy’s ghost has invited Timothy Leary over for marshmallows. It’ll cost millions!” Then she rushes out. I nod and smile because her Invisible Gallery is such a colorful exhibit.

They are all around us, the Invisible Galleries.

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