This weekend, on the N train, Fiancé and I saw the man pictured above. Fiancé did not want me to go up and say hello to him for two reasons:
1) In New York City, it's is not what's done with celebrities. In New York City, you IGNORE celebrities so they feel they have a safe haven here in the city - so they don't have to worry about paparazzi or autograph-seekers. Apparently, in New York City, the level of politeness so great it manifests itself in apathy is the least we can do. I'm sorry, but I kind of disagree with this. No one ELSE in New York considers it a safe haven or feels comfortable... why should celebrities? Just because what makes them uncomfortable differs from what make ME uncomfortable doesn't mean they should have it easy. But I digress.
2) If you recognize the picture above, you understand her hesitation. On his best-known show, nothing good ever happened when he was around. In fact, you could pretty much bank on BAD shit happening the minute he was on screen.
So, I begged and pleaded to be able to go up to the guy and tell him I admired his work, and she firmly put her foot down and told me that under no circumstance would I be doing any such thing. She told me it was because that isn't how we New Yorkers treat our famous people, but I think she was actually scared that, if we acknowledged his existance in our little world, the subway would let us off in 1967 and we'd never be able to get back.
Two stops before ours, the actor departed the train with his companion. Fiancé breathed a sigh of relief... until he turned to walk past us, then she got all tense again.
I managed to catch his eye and smile. I waved at him and, in this wave, said "Hey Man, you do really good work. My fiancé and I both really appreciated the scares and tension you gave us on the roller-coaster ride that was your show, and we consider you one of the great TV villains of all time. I don't want an autograph or anything, and I'm not an actor; I just want you to know that you and your castmates gave us hours of conversation during the last decade, hours of tears, hours of laughter, and I wanted to say thanks."
To my surprise, he smiled back and nodded. This nod said, to me, "Hey Bro, thanks for the kind words an encouragement! I did my best on that show and am looking forward to whatever's next for me. Thank YOU for following my progress and supporting us for so many years, and also for allowing me to ride the subway in peace this afternoon."
To Fiancé, his nod probably came across more like, "I'm going to eat your firstborn after transporting you to a desert in Tunisia and getting you hooked on heroin."
p.s. To those of you who don't know who he his, I highly recommend you lock yourself away for a week and catch up.