The gas station attendant mistakes me for Jay Leno
(must be the chin, -- all I can think of). The same afternoon,
the deli counter lady at the Price Chopper tells me I’m a
dead-ringer for that Serbian doctor who’s on ‘ER’ (I’ve never
seen the show, but am flattered.) I gather she likes him a lot,
since she gives me a free serving of cole-slaw with my
roast-beef hoagie. I’m bitten by the Hollywood bug, big time.
I watch Rupert, from ‘Survivor’, perform live in front of a
hundred thousand screaming fans at the Spiediefest and Balloon
Rally in Endicott, NY. You know you’ve made it to the top,
When you raise the roof at the festival centered around
Skewered, marinated meats and hot-air blimps. If this sweaty
Guy, who ate three pounds of pork in half-n-hour, can do it, so can I.
I feel feverish, -- it could be the kebabs, -- but I think it’s LA, calling.
I drive home, towards the old Riverside Drive, and that’s when I see him;
Some poor shmuck, probably a fellow grad student, stood in front of the
Seafood place, -- West of Boston or North of Maine, who cares. He wore
A full, red lobster costume, complete with tentacles. He was waving
To the passing cars with some of them; others held what looked like fliers.
I was stricken with grief, and laughter, at the same time, almost losing
Control of my Bonneville, but kept driving, shell-shocked and defeated.
Thursday and thereafter:
Everything has changed. Fame is a bitch, I tell myself.
Can’t handle bad reviews. Will feel guilty for turning down a role, etc.
But deep inside, I know it was that image,- the giant lobster-man,
on the corner of Main and Riverside, feverishly waving me in, that did it.
Now, I get my fix by singing 80’s karaoke in a bar just outside Ithaca; I have no
voice, but people clap, and mean it, even if they are drunk.