The Day I Met Someone Famous
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by Sandra Yuen MacKay
“Cheryl, see that man?” Kathy said, staring across the restaurant.
I looked up from my bean salad. Then with a mouthful of food, I said, “Who is it?”
“That’s Michael Diamond. He’s famous.”
“Michael who?” I tried to swallow.
“You know, Michael Diamond the writer.”
“What has he written?” I dabbed my lips with a cloth napkin.
“Darkness Comes, The Illumination Theory, Existing in Tomorrow. . .”
“Oh, he’s a novelist.”
“He’s made a lot of money. Do you think I should ask for his autograph?”
“Don’t bother him.”
“Is he actually eating alone? Look, that woman in the green dress waved at him and he smiled back. We’re going over there. C’mon.” Kathy rose to her feet.
“Wait!“ I said, trying to finish my mouthful of food.
Kathy jerked me from my seat to meet the famous writer. Firmly, she led me over to his table.
“Hi, you’re Michael Diamond the author, aren’t you?” Kathy had a hold on my wrist strong enough to give me welts.
“Yes, and who are you two lovely ladies?”
“I’m Kathy and this is Cheryl.” She offered her hand and pumped his. “We’re big fans. Can I have your autograph?”
“Certainly. What would you like me to sign on?”
“Do you have one of those 8 by 10 glossies? I’ll pay for it.”
He reached for his portfolio and pulled out a photo of him in front of a mantelpiece with a painting above it. He began to sign it.
“Who’s that in the painting?” asked Kathy.
“My grandfather. He was a Supreme Court judge. He’s gone now. My father became a homicide detective because of him. Upholding the law and protecting the innocent is our family motto.”
“How wonderful.” I faked a smile.
He passed the signed photo to Kathy. “That’ll be ten dollars.”
Kathy practically curtsied. “I’ll get my wallet.” I turned to him, wondering if I had combed my hair since morning.
“So love, would you like a photo too?”
“Ah, no. That’s okay.” He was no love of mine, I thought.
“What book of mine did you like the most?”
“Actually, I never read your books.”
“Have you read the review of my latest novel, The Angel that Died? I think I have a copy of the book right here.” He began to rummage through his portfolio.
“No, really. It’s alright.”
“Here you are,” he said triumphantly. “I don’t have a copy of the book but I found something else for you.” He handed me a pencil with “Michael Diamond, Writer of 1998" stamped on it. “No charge.”
“Gee, a collector’s item. You shouldn’t have.” He passed me the pencil but I was unimpressed.
Kathy arrived back at the table with her cheque book. “Is a cheque alright? I don’t have cash.”
He frowned. “I usually don’t take cheques but I guess that’ll be fine.”
She started to fill it out. With a flourish, she ripped the cheque out and passed it to Michael. “It was so good to meet you.” She beamed at him and offered her hand again.
He stood, leaned over and kissed her hand. She looked like she was going to faint. We edged away and returned to our seats.
“What did I tell you? Isn’t he great?” she said, proudly displaying the photo next to her water glass on the table.
I looked at the pencil he gave me. The tip was broken and the eraser nib looked slightly worn. “Yeah, what a guy,” I said. “You meet someone famous and he’s just like everyone else.”