Funny things happen to a person when they work eight days straight under pressure, including a 1 a.m. night on the eighth day. I feel like I do when I take the red eye flight to NYC and go straight from the tarmack to socializing and shopping. A little dizzy, a little queasy, a little feverish, intermingled with bouts of bliss.
Fortunately, my boss picked up on my fading signal and sent me home for the day. Feeling tired, but wired, I ended up doing errands and some city wandering. The wandering led me into the paths of two entertainment personalities.
Speaking of red eyes, the first familiar face ordered a drink by that name at the coffeehouse counter as I waited for my sandwich to go. It took me a second to recognize him, but it was John Hensley of Nip/Tuck fame (doe-eyed teenage son of the nice doctor). As I walked up next to him to reach over the counter for my grilled vegetable panini, I softly said, "You're good on the show." He did a double-take and then thanked me twice, too. Very sincerely. That sweet little interaction gave my work-weary face an instant lift.
About 4 blocks and 45 minutes of window shopping later, I was in line at another establishment to get a cupcake. In front of me was none other than Phillip Seymour Hoffman, still glowing from his Golden Globe win. I almost said congratulations. Then I almost asked for an autograph. He knew I was onto him. Our eyes had met when we crossed paths on the way in and I had stopped in my tracks and smiled an involuntary, "Hey, you're famous" smile.
So there I was standing within a foot of him as he tucked his tip into the designated jar and grabbed his to go booty. I felt my heartrate peak with no treadmill in sight. This was my moment to gladhand Capote, but I wisely decided to call it caput. Something told me he didn't want to be bothered. And I realized I would've been the 514th person to say the "c" word to him in the last 24 hours, so I figured I'd give him the gift of anonymity. The nervous grin on the face of the cashier girl was enough of a fuss for the both of us. I like to think PSH was gratefully surprised as he turned to pass me and all I said was, "A chocolate cupcake, please," to the counter clerk as I tucked my notepad and pen discretely back into my purse.