Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent


Gap Inc.

900 Cherry Avenue

San Bruno, CA 94066

Dear Gap Inc.:

Several years ago, mine eyes beheld the glory of three window mannequins displayed in your outpost on Wilshire Boulevard. Whether it was the nostalgic loneliness of a New Yorker trapped in an LA autumn, smog ingestion, indigestion I just can't say. But what transpired over the course of several weeks will forever remain a landmark chapter in my romantic annals.

Devoid of appendages and outfitted in provocative skirts and tight sweaters, this abstracted female plastic provided me a safe environment for emotional intimacy. For this, I cannot thank you enough. For three glorious weeks, I spent every available moment with my headless harem. I was mistaken for a shoplifter, a drug addict and an executive producer. I did not care; I was in love.

Many consider my behavior perverse and indicative of a misogynist sexual deviance. I can assure you that our relations were far from licentious. Some use training wheels to learn to ride a bike; I use mannequins to love. When seven torsos in fleece replaced Clair, Amy and Artemesia, the loss was harrowing. Since then, I've been involved with the Liz Claiborne window at Bloomingdale's, but it's clearly a rebound thing. We just haven't admitted it yet.

I am fermenting in the heart-stomping misery of limbo, praying I might re-establish contact with my former loves. Please deliver me to a place called hope.

Yours truly,

Kenneth H. Cleaver

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