Monday, August 15, 2005

Please won't you be

I've had some interesting neighbors over the years. By that I mean they're interesting to other people, not merely eccentric or weird or disturbing. everybody has those. But these...

When I was a boy newly moved to New York City, the family next door to us hired a lovely babysitter named Izzy for their infant sons. I have the vaguest memory of being aware she was goodlooking, a slightly stronger memory that she was mysterious and foreign, and a much stronger memory that she was always very friendly. In time she moved on, and soon after that my little sister took on the babysitting chores for the neighbors. My sister is now a social worker who deals with troubled children, and has had some famous high-profile cases -- she's been in the papers and on television -- but Izzy has her beat in that category, now that she's using her full name Isabella Rosselini.

For a while, one of my neighbors was an actor on All My Children. At the time his character was married to the Susan Lucci character...which I gathered was quite a big deal, but in spite of our friendship I never saw the show and never saw him on it. I knew his acting from an Ultra-Brite commercial in which he played a gym instructor saved from social embarassment by the arrival of a spandex-clad, toothpaste-dispensing superheroine who zaps him with a ray beam giving him a whiter smile. I don't know what he's been doing lately, but that's still my brand of toothpaste.

My most notorious neighbor was a horror writer who had just sold the film rights to his first novel. His second novel also got made into a film. After a few more books, he wrote a purportedly nonfiction book about his repeated abduction by aliens...who had taken him from, yes, our apartment building. This book catapulated him to new levels of fame. Please understand, I lived on the top floor of my building. The roof was directly above. This guy lived in the apartment directly below mine. His bedroom and my bedroom were in the same spot in each apartment. Alien visitors landing on the roof literally had to pass my bedroom to reach his and abduct him. I've never really gotten over that. What, my ass wasn't nice enough for them to probe? I don't get abducted? A snub like that seriously wounds a guy's self esteem.

All the above reminiscing was prompted by the fact that one of my current neighbors is trying to sell his apartment...and today it was visited by Drew Barrymore and Fabrizio Moretti. I mean...holy crap! I have to assume the seller was doing some serious misleading about the property to get buyers at their level to come here. This building doesn't even have a doorman, let alone the kind of staff people that famous and wealthy would require. There are absolutely no security provisions here, let alone anything to deal with stalkers and deranged fans and paparazzi. The place isn't even that nice. To be honest, not only would the seller have needed to lie just to get them visiting here, but their personal assistants really dropped the ball by not checking it out and telling them it was totally unsuitable.

But what a lovely daydream it makes. Running into Drew in the elevator. Bumping into her in the laundry room. Yeah, she's with this guy, but hell...he's the drummer for the Strokes! Can you imagine the cool parties? And they'd invite me so I wouldn't complain about the noise...sigh. Ah well.

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