Day Thirty-Three   /   lettering by Mario hugo

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?

What did y’all do together?
We challenged each other to hold hands for eight hours straight. Hand-holding is the quintessential public demonstration by couples.

Did anything interesting happen?
I told my sister what we were going to do. She thought it was impossible that we’d make through the entire day. Impossible just means it hasn’t been done before! It wasn’t that difficult. Surprisingly, I adjusted easily to only having one hand.

We met at my studio. Tim looked super cute today, I liked his striped shirt. We rode the subway together. We tried on shoes. We went to the bathroom. We played pool. We bowled. We ate brunch. We took cabs. We used a Starbucks restroom. We did handstands in the park. We attempted to do yoga, then we gave up and fell asleep in the grass. Some people were perplexed. Some whispered. Some rolled their eyes. A few people joined in and held hands with us. Most just laughed or smiled. It was a beautiful day.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
I learned that Tim is extremely pee shy! He also pees for an exceptionally long time. I wasn’t sure it would end. It was endearing.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I know I can be super quirky. Looking back, I was always like this, even as a child. 12 years ago when my family watched a love story about a shy and peculiar french girl named Amelie, they practically tried to change my birth-name. They’ve always thought our personality similarities were uncanny, and we both had a suicidal goldfish as a childhood best friend. I guess the bangs match up, too. All I need now is a gnome.


I’ve always been looking for a boy who can match my level of weirdness. Tim isn’t quite as strange, but I do love that he can be playful, and we can laugh at ourselves and each other. Running around the city today reminded me of the Amelie ending. We had so much fun. Could Tim be my Nino? I’ve been trying to keep my guard up to protect myself, but maybe I should listen to Mr. Dufayel and let myself be vulnerable before it’s too late.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I think this experiment brought us closer together. There is actually biological science to all this. Holding hands and hugging decreases the stress hormones in the brain, lowers blood pressure, and releases oxytocin (the cuddle hormone). It promotes the feeling of trust, and, lets face it, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In many ways it’s more serious than kissing!

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
We started out the day by passing a street musician named Vladimir who I walk by on my way to work every morning. He plays the guitar and sings for tips. Today we saw him in the subway, away from his usual spot outside the Chelsea Hotel. He said this was the first time he has seen me smile. That is crazy! I should smile more often. Then he mentioned that he thought Tim looked like he worked in porno.

Additional comments?
I want to do more crazy weird experiments with Tim!

Day Thirty-Three   /   lettering by Jeff Rogers

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Handz yes!

What did y’all do together?
We met early on a beautiful Sunday AM. As an experiment, our plan was to explore a common relationship cliché: holding hands. And we met some interesting people along the way:

Did anything interesting happen?
We held hands for eight hours straight without once letting go! We went shopping, we ate brunch, we bowled, we played pool, we went on the train, we held hands with strangers, we got annoyed with each other, we peed together, we did head stands. It was a ton of fun.

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Today just reaffirmed how awesome Jessie is. There aren’t many people I could share stuff like this with so comfortably — even when it’s uncomfortable! There’s a reason why we’re on this crazy ride together. Also, Jessie’s hand sweats.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I can’t pee when there is an audience listening to and recording me. I also forgot that I’m a bad bowler.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I feel good about it all. However, I’m becoming increasingly concerned about what I’m secretly calling “40DoD-Day.” At the end of the day today, my friend asked me what’s going to happen when the 40 days are up. I didn’t know how to answer him. This makes me curious, because I always know if I want to at least pursue something. Jessie and I seem to be fundamentally different on many levels, I wonder if there’s some cosmic roadblock. If Jessie and I were supposed to be more than great friends, wouldn’t I know by now?

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I need to forget everything I just wrote and stop worrying about “40DoD-Day.” Also, my hand feels odd right now, like it broke out of some plastic mold. Truth be told, my hand misses Jessie’s hand right now.

Additional comments?
This experiment was so fun today. I’m reading a book on writing and myths that a previous boss gave me years ago. When I worked for him, we used archetype cards to help with our brand stories and positioning. Archetypes are ancient, universal patterns of behavior that highlight an original example, ideal, or epitome. According to this idea, all people fall into various types, including the Trickster, who manipulates others through duplicity; the Martyr, who transcends service to oneself or a cause; the Fool, who helps people laugh at absurdity and hypocrisy; the Artist, who inspires others to see life symbolically; and the Gambler, who follows intuition even when others don’t.

These helped us to know who a particular company was, what they stood for, and where they were positioned in culture — which sometimes informed our entire creative process. While myths and archetypes are created around our favorite brands, I find it’s much more important to be in the story, rather than the one who’s telling it. Living the experience is what matters, not what kind of archetype you’re labeled as.

All of this makes me think about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Mr. Edward Rooney’s secretary, Grace, speaks about Ferris: “Oh, he’s very popular, Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads—they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”