The strangest feelings came to me on my 4th night in NYC.
I decided to go see The Waverly Gallery at the John Golden Theatre. The cast was stacked with Michael Cera, Élaine May, Joan Allen, David Cromer and to my delight, Lucas Hedges. I’ve always had a little crush on Lucas since I saw him in Manchester by the Sea (another Kenneth Lonergan piece of work). His talent and cuteness won me over right away.
So when I got my ticket (only $66 by the way- what a steal!), I ran back to the place I was staying at to clean up a bit. What if I run into him? What if he runs into me? What if we get married tonight? What if by some crazy chance, he bumps into me and feels so bad about it that he gets me into a bar and buys me champagne that makes me giggle with happiness and we end up spending the rest of our lives together in New York as two working actors who just want to get through life together? These were the thoughts in my head. Why did I want so badly for him to bump into me?
I arrived early enough at the theatre to scope out some celebrities. I knew that on a Friday night, this show would have a packed audience with friends of the cast coming to visit. Coincidently, I spotted Kate Burton, who played Ellis Grey (THEE Grey from Grey’s Anatomy). Her poise as she talked to some guy in the aisle had me realizing that tv stars are real people too. What a cool thing to be so close to her though.
The show began and the first scene had Lucas right into the action. I started to internally smile so wide. Couldn’t blow my cover, though. The show went on and I wanted so badly to be able to discuss it with the cast afterwards. Mostly Lucas, but I would give my left big toe to just have a conversation with the cast about the sad but charming story of these characters. Thank goodness I looked cute because I knew that if I got the chance, I could win Lucas over and get him to buy me a drink.
What an idiotic thought that was.
By intermission, I needed to walk around to clear my head and so I decided to walk closer to the stage to check out the ceiling of the theatre and the foreground flat that covered the stage during scene changes. You know, theatre stuff. When I came to the closest part of the aisle that I could, a 40-something man beside me was giving me strange looks. I turned away from him knowing full well that as a young, alone woman, I am a prime suspect for something to happen. As it turned out, he asked me what I thought of the show. I answered to him but kept my body orientation towards the stage. I wasn’t really interested in talking to him. He proceeded to ask me about my life and why I was here and I felt like I had to respond. I wanted to just explore the theatre and not be bothered but he was very polite and I felt inclined to start a conversation. I tried to ask him about his life, as any adult would, but he kept the flow of questions projected at me. We talked about my cottage, and the fact that I am a dancer and his strange gaze never left my eyes or my body. Once the show was about to begin again, I told him to enjoy the second half and he asked me if I wanted to hang out afterwards. My anxiety kicked in and I muddled to him that I had to go to bed. What a childish thing to say. It wasn’t that he was being rude or anything it’s just that I was an underage, alone in the city woman who just didn’t get a good vibe from this person. I’m sure he was very kind but he was also alone and seemed to be wanting more than just to hang out. Also where would we go if I can’t get into the bars? So, I did my best to let him down and walked back to my seat.
I could have said “To be honest, I don’t really know you and I don’t have anyone I could go to if you were a serial killer rapist who ended up drugging me.” But, I kept it light this time.
The show finished and my mind was excited to try and find Lucas. There didn’t seem to be any other audience members at the stage door so I assumed that it wasn’t a thing. Bummer. I walked slowly towards the subway, hoping that maybe Lucas was a fast dresser and wanted to get out of the theatre fast enough to bump into me on the street. Again, more bumping thoughts… It’s New York City. Anything could happen!
On my way home, two other random men cat-called me as I walked. Great. One of them even Joey Tribbiani-ed me and said “How You Doin’?” Classic New Yorker. Are these the guys I get so dolled-up for?
I began to wonder why I put so much expectation on myself to win the affection of a celebrity actor. What arrogance did I have that I could imagine my night going that way? All I got were disappointing interactions with men that I just didn’t care for. But maybe that’s who I attract. Maybe I’m just destined to be in the arms of a much older man than me who is lonely for attention.
I made it a promise to myself that I would try to find love this year. It’s 2019, I’ve never had a boyfriend for longer than a month and I need to get on with it. No more waiting around for Prince Charming. Or Lucas Hedges for that matter.
If I expect fate to play out like a movie scene, all I will get is the lonely scums that want me for the most superficial reasons. Sorry, girl. It’s just how it is.
And that was how my 4th night in NYC went.