by M. Lizabeth Currain
Living in New York City (well, I live in a Brooklyn, but same diff) can be thrilling. Tonight was no exception. So, today after an especially exhausting day at work, I met up with a pal of mine for dinner. We walked over to 8th ave and as we were walking, we stopped to look at a menu outside of a restaurant. We pondered over it for a bit, standing on the sidewalk, when I looked forward, and who should be crossing the street at that exact moment? JAMES FRANCO! It’s almost two weeks to the day that I first saw him. I saw him the Monday before Election day…he was walking down 6th avenue talking on his cell phone, laughing, carrying some books–he was carrying three books this time. I turned around and followed him for a block and a half. He didn’t notice (thankfully) and neither did anyone else, oddly enough. Anyways, when I saw him, I immediately put a death grip on my friend’s forearm and gasped, “Oh my God, that’s Jame’s Franco!” he then grabbed my arm, with his other hand, and we both took a step back, squealed silently, and began breathing heavily–because that’s just what you do in these situations. The rest is as follows:
My pal: Oh my God, what are we going to do?! Where is he going? We should follow him!
(James Franco almost bypasses deli, then decides to go in. Victor grabs my arm and pulls me down the sidewalk into the deli. James Franco is walking towards the back, to get an icy beverage.)
Me: I should go up to him! I should say something! I should get my picture with him! (at this point, I’m freaking out, because HELLO! it’s James Franco. Both Victor and I are both hyperventilating and grabbing hold of each other for support.)
Victor: You totally should, I’ll take the picture!
Me: Do you dare me to go up to him? Do you fucking dare me?! (Seriously, I was losing my shit. My brain fell on the floor and any ability to think logically was lost…as was the ability to form complete sentences.)
My Pal: I dare you!
Me: (I am peeking around a shelving unit to see where he is and I look back at Victor): I can’t do this!
(James Franco walks down the other side of the shelving unit that I am hiding behind. I look at him, he looks at me. I sort of put my hand out to stop him…as if I am a crossing guard directing traffic. He stops. I take a step forward.)
Me: I just wanted to say, that you’re James Franco. (He’s looking at me, through his squinted eyes, he’s smiling. He has dimples.) I mean, you’re James Franco. I’m sorry I can’t think of anything better to say than the fact you’re James Franco.
James Franco: (Laughs softly. Not in a mocking way, in a genuine, warmed way and leans toward me.): What’s your name?
Me: (in my mind, I am freaking out, because he just asked me what my name was!) Meaghan.
James Franco: (sticks out his hand, we SHAKE HANDS. I TOUCHED JAMES FRANCO) It’s nice to meet you Meaghan.
Me: (I was trying to extended this moment for as long as possible, obviously) You were really great in Pineapple Express. (Yes. That’s the best example of his acting that I could come up with at the moment. You try sounding normal when looking at that face!)
James Franco: (smiling) Aww, well thank you.
Me: (I turn to walk away, because the last thing I would want if I were James Franco, is me at my geekiest, trying to engage me in conversation.) Well, it was really nice meeting. Have a good night.
James Franco: You too. (he smiles and walks over to get some coffee.)
I go over to my friend, who was hiding behind the shelves, just in case I did something really embarrassing, and we freaked out. We both start giggling like little girls and he grabs my hand to get Franco germs.
Me: We should go. We don’t want to seem weird. (too late at this point really.)
So we are walking out of the deli, James Franco is getting his coffee and we see each other, I do a goodbye wave to him, and he smiles at me and WINKS. HE WINKED AT ME. I could have died. I could have just died.
I seriously, haven’t been this excited about a celebrity encounter since Ryan Gosling smiled and said hello to me in a bar. I only get excited about A-List–that’s a lie, because I got really excited the time I saw the actor who played Jared on The Pretender–and James Franco is A-LIST. I think my friend was impressed with my ability to approach James Franco. I know I was. Even though I was a complete basket case when I was talking to him. I’m just going to go ahead and say that James Franco seems like a really decent human being. He totally didn’t have to be nice to me, because it’s not like I’m some 8 year old girl that would be devastated if he was a jerk. He didn’t seemed bothered by me approaching him and having a complete spaz attack. He was very nice and if anything, I wish I had been less of a stammering Sally.
Next time I see him, I can be totally cool about it, and be like, “Hey, remember me? I totally spazzed out when I met you in a deli one time. I’m all better now. I see that you like to read, I like to read also. Perhaps we can visit a library and pick out some books together?” I have this all planned out.
There is, sadly, no picture. Let a girl keep some of her dignity.