the gondrymat angel aldarondo   I  angel aldarondo At last, somebody has answered my ad. "Yes, the room is still available. Come along in the afternoon and check it out" Simone says to me sweetly on the phone. Seems like my lucky day at last, but you never can tell for sure here in New York. Specially so when you’re talking about finding a room. I get the "L-Train" to the epicentre of the "cool" Williamsburg neighbourhood. It was once populated by Poles but has since become the home to many an avant-garde artist in Brooklyn. The idea of being surrounded by artists and creativity appeals to me. Something may rub off. I’m in audiovisual myself but I’ve been stuck in the creative mud lately and I could do with a good catharsis. So, anyway, I chose this part of the Big Apple to live in and the ever-surprising New York had a cosmic coincidence in store for me. I ran into Michel Gondry on the corner of North 7th St and Bedford. Let me explain. I happen to believe that this little french guy is the last living genius on the planet. I envy him; an unhealthy envy I might point out (is there any other type?) and that sentiment, just like Salieri with Mozart, has always dragged me towards his work. Plagiary is always the last resort for the unable, and my last resort was here in Williamsburg.
It was the first time in my life that I felt like running up to someone famous and imposing myself on them. But I didn’t do it. It’s not that I was lacking in courage or anything like that, it was terrible English that held me back. After that encounter, I walked all over the neighbourhood in the hope of bumping into him again. Not a chance. But just, as these things go, when I had given up all hope of another meeting, I suddenly saw his serious-looking face in the Polish laundry downstairs from my apartment. There he was in the Wascomat putting softener into the washing machine. At that moment it struck me as odd that an artist as successful as Gondry wouldn’t have a washing machine of his own. It was my chance to talk to him. I’d never do something like this back home in the Basque Country. But, what do I say to him? Do I introduce myself? Will I bore him to tears with my words of slavering admiration? I stare at his clothes as they are tossed around by the machine. Three shirts, a jumper, two pairs of pants, three or four plain t-shirts. I feel like a journalist from one of those spy-on-famous-people programmes. All of Gondry’s underwear are white.
It’s at that moment that I realise I have nothing to talk to him about. I’ve already been inside his head twice so far. The first time was when I saw ‘Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind’ and the second time was during "The Science of Dreams". He’s standing there, his gaze lost in his whirling clothes, too. What is he thinking about? Me? I see myself robbing his clothes and starring in the fictitious "Being Michel Gondry". When I think about though, if you’re gonna be envious of someone, you’d be hard picked to find a better choice than mine: a genius who doesn’t take himself seriously, a guy who is taken aback by his own ideas, the man who invented the "bullet-motion" technique used in Matrix, the artist who combines the latest in special effects with homemade cardboard one, the creator who puts the same passion into his own personal work and into commercial projects... He’s currently making whacky videos and publishing them on Youtube.... How to do the Rubik’s cube with your feet, etc... He’s finishing the filming of another gem called ‘Be kind Rewind’ and he’s also producing one episode of the three-part “Tokyo” film. Meanwhile, I take my clothes out of the machine and I notice it’s changed... It’s shrunk a little.