As you've probably heard by now, Shia LaBeouf – actor, director and mirror to our tortured souls – is doing a piece of performance art in Los Angeles.
The exhibition/performance/whatever is called #IAMSORRY and is being held at 7354 Beverly Boulevard until Sunday.
I headed down to check it out.
I arrived expecting a huge line, but there was none – just one other guy and a security guard. The guard told me that I was the 75th person to see the exhibit, and that I had to go in alone, "because we don't want anyone else to ruin your experience."
After about five minutes of waiting, the security guard gave me the once-over with a metal detector and allowed me inside.
I ended up in a room with a bunch of objects laid out on a table. I managed to sneak a photo.
There was a ukulele, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a bowl containing print-outs of mean tweets about Shia, a bowl of Hershey's Kisses, a bottle of Brut cologne, a copy of The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes, an Optimus Prime action figure, some pliers and a whip.
A woman told me to choose an object. I picked up the bowl of mean tweets about Shia.
A copy of the press release for whatever this thing is.
Bowl in hand, the woman led me through a curtain and into a small room.
Shia was sitting at a small wooden table in the center of the space. He was wearing a suit and the "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE" bag that he had on his head in Berlin.
The woman left, and it was just me and Shia. I didn't sneak a photo of him, out of respect for his art (just kidding: I chickened out).
I sat down opposite him. As far as I could tell, I wasn't being filmed, and nobody was listening in.
After sitting there for a few seconds as Shia stared at me in silence, I said, "So you're not gonna talk, huh?" He didn't respond.
I looked at his hands; I looked at his eyes. I felt a little bit embarrassed, both for Shia and myself.
I took one of the tweets out of the bowl and read it. It said something about Shia's being an "insufferable twat."
I looked back into his eyes and noticed that the bag was soggy underneath the eyeholes. Without thinking about it, I asked, "Is the mask like that because you've been crying?" Shia said nothing. I internally scolded myself for indulging him.
I decided just to sit and stare into his eyes and wait until they told me my time was up. After doing this for a couple of boring, awkward minutes, I realised that maybe I didn't have a time limit. I decided to show myself out.
Right before I got up to leave, I pulled one of the mean tweets out of the bowl and read it aloud to him. It said, "The apotheosis of trying too hard," which was fitting.
As I left the room, I thanked him. Shia nodded at me.
I let myself out through another curtain, and then a security guy led me outside through a back door.
When I got out, I saw that the line had grown to about ten people.
As I walked back to my car, I tried to figure out why Shia was doing this. Is he trolling? Is he genuinely trying to make some kind of statement about celebrity or something? Is he reverse-engineering the whole thing to make himself look less stupid over the whole plagiarism thing? Or is he just doing it so that people like me will write about him? After a few seconds of letting these thoughts swirl around my head, I remembered that, mostly, I just don't care.