Jean Barberis Speaks

I saw Special Agent Dale Cooper for the first time in an old sweat shop next to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Well. To be fair that was the one and only time.

Of course, like millions of people I had watched Twin Peaks many times, but I always failed to see Special Agent Dale Cooper for who he really was, until Michelle showed me.

It was a cold  December night, and like the 40 people that showed up to watch Michelle speak that night, I was huddled in the unheated warehouse, captivated by the glowing beam of the video projector.

I don’t exactly remember what she said, or did, for the most part she gave a performative lecture about her quest for Special Agent Dale Cooper. It was all ernest and sweet and funny and touching in a way only Michelle can be ernest and sweet and funny and touching.

What I do remember, is that at one point, in the hypnotic light, time stopped. I remember a sweet, tangy familiar taste in my mouth, like a comforting treat on misty fall day, and suddenly, Special Agent Dale Cooper appeared to me. He stared deep inside of me. His mouth stayed still, but there was a kind smile in his eyes. The whole experience couldn’t have lasted longer than a second, but that second contained eternities. And just as suddenly, Special Agent Dale Cooper was gone. I looked down at my lap, where a paper plate stood empty, except for a few crumbs of crust and a smudge of cherry filling.

That night, I experienced communion, with a slice of cherry pie.

Jean Barberis,