I’m at Crave cafe, sitting on the red sofa, the one that doesn’t face the street, drawing comic characters in my sketch book, when a young man who is sitting at the table in front of me looks over and says- ‘Excuse me, Miss,’
‘Yes?’ I say, surprised by his polite use of ‘Miss’ in reference to me.
‘What’s your name?’ says the young man who is wearing yellow ochre coloured chinos, yellow ochre Caterpillar boots, a red shirt with the sleeves rolled up, suspenders, a pair of white-rimmed, green-lensed sunglasses, a ponytail and a goatee.
I tell the young man my name and he tells me he likes my style of drawing.
‘I really like your style of drawing,’ he tells me, ‘and I wondered what your name is because I might have heard of you,’
‘You wouldn’t have heard of me,’ I tell him, closing my book and putting it on the sofa next to me, ‘I’m not someone,’
‘Oh, really?’ he says, ‘Well, even if you are no one, I still love your drawings,’
I tell him thank you and then I pick up my sketch book and he goes back to the papers he is reading; something that looks like a script, with yellow highlights on some of the words and ‘Franco’ written across the top.
A few moments later one of his papers is licked by the wind and flips across the footpath.
‘Oh, fuck,’ he says, getting up from his chair to chase his paper.
‘Oops,’ I say, and he laughs.
‘I don’t mean ‘Oops’ for the ‘fuck’, I tell him, ‘just oops because your paper flew off,’
He laughs and then waves his paper toward me and tells me again how much he likes my drawings.
Then, as he sits back at his table, he asks me if I have published any books and I tell him about my comic book life story.
‘I wrote a comic book about my life,’ I tell him, ‘self published,’
He tells me he’ll buy it because he likes to ‘support’.
I tell him it’s on Amazon and we talk on a bit until he asks if he can come and sit on the sofa with me.
‘Of course,’ I tell him, ‘come on over,’
Then the young man begins telling me about himself.
He tells me he is name is Jonny, that he’s an actor and that he’s just been to a meeting at CBS.
Then he tells me he has been in a TV series.
And that he has made a film that will be coming out soon; a film in which he has a big part.
‘I’m thinking about moving out here,’ he tells me, ‘to LA. But to be honest, I’m scared,’
‘Um,’ I say, ‘what have you got to be scared of. You’ve made a TV show, you’ve been in a big film. You’ve had a meeting at CBS. Maybe you’re nervous, rather than fully scared,’
Jonny laughs, and then gets serious and cocks his head to the side.
‘Maybe you’re right,’ he says, ‘I’m not used to having people question me. You’ve made me really think,’
Then he tells me the TV series has caused people to be interested in him, but interested for what, he is not too sure.
‘I’m not sure whether they’re interested in me for me or for me because I’m someone,’
I nod my head and tell him he’d better get used to it.
Then Jonny asks me – ‘Do you find people just want to be with you because of who you are?’
‘No, I don’t think so’ I say, frowning thoughtfully at him, thinking that he thinks I am still a someone.
‘I think if you just be an authentic human being, people will want to be with you anyway,’ I suggest to him.
Then, as he leans forward, rubs his goatee and smiles a huge smile, I look straight into his mouth and ponder how very similar this someone’s teeth are to the teeth of all the no ones I know.