Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My encounter with the Master

Several years ago I was dating fairly heavily. Nothing to write home about, but I was learning to enjoy the process for its own sake and even when dates did not lead to more, I was having a good time.

One early summer I met someone and we hit it off very well. She was very much my type and had a certain wit about her that charmed the hell out of me. The feeling was quite mutual right away and I thought there might be something here to look forward to after a long time of loneliness and (quite honestly) sexual frustration.

Such was not the case. As is common in NYC dating circles, things can turn on a dime. Without going into detail, a slew of plans were suddenly called off and it was all done with no real explanation or logic. It left me in a very sour mood for a week. Not that things ended, mostly because I had felt misled and taken for a ride.

A few days later I had my weekly visit with my daughter in Queens and had a lovely time with her. We had dinner and watched an episode of Buffy I think. I had spent the last couple of years acquainting her with Buffy and Angel, or possibly Firefly.

It was then time to head home, a fairly involved trip that required a couple of train changes.

This was a nightmare. Once my night with my daughter was done I was back to my foul mood and the sluggish train system was no help. At one point I waited for a particular train for 45 minutes. Then it hit me that I was being a complete idiot and could get out of that station, walk 5 blocks and get on another train without it costing me an additional cent.

So now, I was also pissed off at myself as well as the girl and the universe.

Stomping up Seventh Avenue over to Broadway, I began to pass an old diner that had been there for decades and in my mood managed to feel grateful that it was still there. One of my few old haunts that hadn't been demolished or swallowed up by the Yuppie onslaught of the last 20 years.

And there, sitting outside in the corner of the outdoor section of said diner, sat Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, Angel, Firefly etc.. He was with someone, an older man, I imagined they were discussing post production details of Serenity which was due in a few months.

I stood stock still a few feet from him. Total fanboy geekdom took over.

I've met and known many famous people. Including Charleton Heston and several other greats. This was the first and thus far only time I was spellbound.

I had been a fan of Whedon's for years. I admired his play with words, his storytelling and his perspective. And there he was in the flesh.

Finally I spoke and offered my hand, not expecting him to return the favor or thinking that he even should. I'm a stranger after all. I told him that I was a great fan of his work and admired him and had been turning my daughter on to his work from the time she was 11 and that she was now enjoying Firefly on DVD and it was the first time she liked anything that had anything to do with spaceships.

He was extremely gracious and kind and I can't even tell you how many times he said thank you. Then I got my shit together and remembered that I was a straight man in my early 40s and had to stop being such a girl. I thanked him for letting me talk with him and wished him a good night. Nodded to his friend and thanked him too and then walked on.

When I was a block away I called my daughter. "Guess what just happened to me"

Non chalant "I have no idea"

".............................I JUST MET JOSS WHEDON"

Suddenly Screaming "ReALYY!!!!!????"

And then I told her what happened.

I forgot about the woman, the subway and my crappy life and ended up walking for another 30 blocks before finally getting on the subway home, grinning the whole time.

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