I wanted to rewind to that moment, and know it was Brad Pitt, smiling that 250-watt grin at me.
The day I rented my live/work loft in Soho, consummating a lifelong dream to live in New York, I saw David Carradine walking down West Broadway. It seemed like an omen of glamorous days ahead for me.
But New York wasâ€”like New Jersey and Maryland and Florida had been before itâ€”just another place where I worked too many hours a week and had a semi-acceptable relationship with someone who had less money and more freedom.
Still, there were lots more celebrity sightings. _Sex and the City_ filmed across Canal St. one weekend. Under lights that cut through the near-darkness, I saw Sarah Jessica Parker in a gorgeous silk dress, doing a great job of not shivering as she bared her shoulders to the freezing air.
From a nearly front-row seat, I saw Al Pacino reel and hoot and generally chew the scenery in _Salome,_ and I felt, by the time I left, that I'd had a quick immersion course in his every tick and quirk.
There were plenty of passings on the street, and opportunities to try not to be an ass by staring too hard at celebrities in restaurants and clubs. But the really close encounter came one day near a basketball court around the corner from the loft. Someone had been dressing up the property for weeks, painting new graffiti on the brick wall behind the single basket.
I was giving Lady, my drop-dead-gorgeous silver husky, her morning exercise. The preparations seemed to be finally coming to something on the basketball court, where a half dozen people were making a great show of organizing tables and equipment. As I walked along the chain-link fence, my head was turned to the side watching them, instead of looking where Lady and I were going.
Suddenly, Lady stopped, and I almost fell over a man in front of me. I snapped my head around to see a big grin maybe ten inches in front of my face. My heart jumped into my throat. "Hey, that's a nice dog," he drawled. And then he walked away.
I stared after him, thinking, "Who _is_ that?" He was really cute. And he looked really familiar.
When I got back to the loft, the other people who worked with me had arrived. I said, "I think Rob Lowe just gave Lady a compliment." One of the guys gave me a fishy look. "Around the corner?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "I mean, I think it's Rob Lowe. Great smile."
They looked at each other. It took me another ten minutes to get it out of them that Brad Pitt was filming on the corner.
I wanted to rewind to that moment, and know it was Brad Pitt, smiling that 250-watt grin at me. So I could have stopped dead and screamed...what? "Marry me?" "Let me chew your moccasins?" Something that would embarrass me to remember for the rest of my life?
It was good when it was Rob Lowe. Brad Pitt was too _whew._