Friday, June 6, 2008

Famous People I Have Met

I'm standing at the checkout line of my local market with two bags of overpriced lettuce. The woman in front of me tells the cashier her husband took the credit cards away, and she forgot her checkbook in the car, so... Off she trundles, annoyed, to the SUV she carefully parked in the shade at the rear of the lot.

The cashier looks apologetic, what're you gonna do?

I scan the magazines in the rack. People. Us. In Touch. Celebrity something-or-other. A lot of young blond women on the covers, and short-haired young men hugging the blond women. Some are smiling. Some look annoyed. Some display cellulited thighs and minimal triangles of cloth across their midriffs.

I realize I do not know a single one of these people. John and Jane; Mel and Molly; Patrick and Patricia; Tito and Jenna. Wait! Tito! I know Tito! He's one of the Ultimate Fighting thugs. Now I that's better--I am not totally out of step.

But still, I am feeling a little bit out of it. So, as an exercise in vanity, here are the famous people I have met, in no particular order save how I remember them.

Charles de Gaulle. Willy Brandt. Hunter S. Thompson. The Dalai Lama. Cheech and Chong. Brigitte Bardot. Mary McCarthy. Jesse Owens. Sonny Barger. Barbara Mandrell. Ben Bradlee. Marion Barry. Margaret Mead. Jimbo Manion. Jacques Fevrier. Eugene McCarthy. Emmylou Harris. Gerald and Betty Ford. Camille Chautemps. Dexter Manley. Bobby Byrd. Josephine Baker. Anna Marly. Hank Snow. James Lee Burke. Dick Smothers. Marcel Marceau. Nora Ephron. Dottie West. Bernard Fall. Bob Woodward. Fred Maroon. Jane Seymour. Ringo Starr. Josh Graves. Brian Bowers. Maybelle Carter. Pat Nixon. Mike Auldridge. Florence Florent. Tim O'Brien. Patrick Juvet. Loretta Lynn. Maurice Chevalier. Carl Bernstein. Lorne Greene. Martha Mitchell.

I'll add more as I remember them, but in the meantime I'm pretty impressed.

Here's installment 25 of
Wasted Miracles.

Later Orin wanted to go out and eat some spaghetti. “Sometimes,” he said, “I feel like Marsha’s a warden. ‘Watch your blood pressure.’ ‘Don’t get excited, it’s bad for you.’ Once, we were screwing, she says, ‘Take it easy, you’ll hurt yourself.’ Jesus. Woman says something like that, it ain’t inspiring, melts your hard-on, believe me.”
A perfect reason to have spaghetti.
Colin drove the ramp-equipped van, a $75,000 custom job with hand controls. Orin hated the thing, never drove it. It reminded him of his handicap. “You know what else really pisses me off? Sometimes, when she’s talking to some of her friends on the phone and she thinks I can’t hear, she says I’m ‘physically challenged.’ Fuck. There ain’t no challenge for Chrissake. I don’t have any legs? What the fuck is challenging about that?”
At the restaurant Orin had the special, fought the food battle and won, emptied his third cup of coffee. Colin admired the hundred little spots the tomato sauce made on Orin’s shirt. Orin belched, wiped his lips, said, “I really wish you weren’t screwing that woman, Colin. I’m being serious now. I’ve known you a real long time. She’s gonna get you into a shitload of trouble. Don’t ask me how I know, but I know.”

1 comment:

  1. You inspired me to jot down a list of famous people I have met. These are not just random encounters for the most part and do give a rough sketch of how I have spent my life. Let others do the same:

    Richard Nixon, Sammy Davis, Jr., Pat Nixon, Spiro T. Agnew, Ruth St. Denis, A.J. Antoon, John Dean, John Ehrlichman, Robert Drinan, S.J., Ed McMahon, Harry Nilsson, Mike Farrell, the Juillard String Quartet, William Colby, James Schlesinger, G. Gordon Liddy, Chuck Colson, Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown, James Brown, Mstislav Rostropovich & Galina Vishnevskaya, Gary Sinise, William Peterson, Ving Rhames, Suzanne Farrell, Wilbur Mills, Mel Gibson, Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, Eric Bogosian, Ping Chong, Meredith Monk, Neil Simon, Vincent Price, Ian Hunter & Gavin McLeod