A Fleeting Moment with David Duchovny
He nodded at the words he must have heard so many times already that evening and smiled, before glancing down at the floor, almost shyly. It was clear he didn’t want fuss or commotion, just something to eat.
We went to see Break of Noon at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, starring David Duchovny. We lived nearby and, as avid Californication fans, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Duchovny on stage.
Afterwards, we filed outside into the brisk evening air where Duchovny fans hovered nearby with cameras, excitedly awaiting his exit. The temptation to join them flickered through my mind before I dismissed it.
“I don’t want to be one of those fans,” I said to my friend. “But I’d like to catch another glimpse of him. Why don’t we have a drink over there?”
On the other side of the street, directly facing the theater, was a low key Peruvian restaurant. Most importantly, it had an empty table by the window that would afford us the perfect view of Duchovny’s exit. The restaurant owner was a friendly elderly man. His restaurant was bustling with people, save for that one table we had in mind.
“Can we sit here for a drink?” We asked. “We watched the play and would love to see him come out.”
He was good natured and nodded happily. “This table’s reserved, so you’ll have to leave once the group arrives, but meanwhile you can sit here.”
When he returned with our wine he leaned forward and let us in on a secret. “You know, he’s been in here a few times. He’s a very nice man.”
Duchovny appeared and we watched, fascinated, as the energy on Christopher Street electrified. A crowd formed around him and I was struck by how gracious Duchovny was. He spent considerable time with fans, standing in photos and signing autographs.
“He always does this,” the owner said, joining us to watch. “Spends time with fans.”
A black car with shaded windows was waiting for him on the other side of the street. He edged towards it with his entourage, but then walked past it. We watched incredulous, as he – surely not! -- walked towards us.
The door opened. Duchovny appeared in the doorway and looked directly at us.
“Looks like we’ve got more people around this table tonight,” he said humorously.
The owner came forward and explained we would move, adding that we had wanted to watch him exit the theater, which made me cringe.
“We’re not stalkers,” my friend said.
“We just saw your play and it was great,” I added, hoping to salvage our embarrassment.
He nodded at the words he must have heard so many times already that evening and smiled, before glancing down at the floor, almost shyly. It was clear he didn’t want fuss or commotion, just something to eat. We stood up and gave him back his table.
“I can’t believe we spoke to him!” my friend said later.
I’m not sure our three line exchange counts as a complete conversation. But, we dined off the story for weeks afterwards, naturally.