It’s an impossibly sunny California day and I’m in a tony L.A. restaurant eating equally tony food with a smart and beautiful young woman. Sometimes I love my job.

After we finish our interview and my delicious French fusion chicken starts its journey down my digestive tract, my lunch companion whispers to me.

“So how was your first celebrity sighting in L.A.?”

“What?” I reply, slightly confused. “I didn’t see anybody. Who’d I miss?”

“Marisa Tomei. She was sitting right behind you.”

“Really?” I say, swiveling my head towards the now empty table in back of me.

“She was the one in the corner,” my lunch companion says. “She was wearing some leopard print thingy and had her shoes off.”

“Oh damn,” I say. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I thought you saw her when we walked in.”

“I knew there were some people sitting behind us. I guess it didn’t register.”

“Oh well,” my lunch companion says. “She was there.”

“If I had seen her I would’ve asked for her autograph.”

“She would’ve loved that,” my lunch companion replies. “She doesn’t get that too much anymore.”

The last time I saw Marisa Tomei, she was having grunting, sweaty sex with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Phillip was in my kind of shape, which isn’t much. But Marisa looked spectacular.

Smiling slyly I whisper, “I would have said. ‘Hey Marisa, I saw you in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Looking good babe!’” Fully understanding the risque reference, my lunch companion smiles brilliantly.

“Then I’m surprised you didn’t notice her,” she replies.

“I think I’m blind to that sort of thing.” I reply. “When I worked at The Bistro I saw tons of celebrities. William Hurt, Russell Crowe – even Tony Bennett. I guess celebrities are off my radar now.”

The waiter clears our plates and takes our dessert order. As I wait for my caffe macchiato I stew internally. Ever since I saw My Cousin Vinny I’ve had as small crush on Marisa Tomei. I missed my shot – like I ever had one.

“You never know who you’ll see in this town,” my lunch companion says over her espresso.

“I’ll keep my eyes peeled from now on,” I reply, chastened.

Dessert finished and bill paid, I thank my lunch companion for her hospitality and insider information and head back into the brilliant California sunshine. As I walk past the Maseratis and Aston Martins lining the streets of Beverly Hills I call my mom.

“Hey Mom,” I say. “Guess who I didn’t see?”

“Who?” she asks.

“Marisa Tomei.”

“She started out on As the World Turns!” my mom says excitedly. “You should have gotten her autograph!”

“Sorry Ma. I missed her.”

“That’s too bad!” she says, slightly disappointed. Mom is a big fan of As the World Turns.

“I’ll get her next time Mom.”

“Okay son.”

‘I’ll call you tomorrow,” I say. “Maybe I won’t see another famous person by then.”

“Keep your eyes open!” my mom says.

“I will Ma. Bye.”

After I hang up I continue my walk and watch as impossibly beautiful long legged women teetering atop expensive high heels dart in and out of the pricey boutiques lining the avenue. L.A is indeed an ocular feast. I mentally vow to keep my eyes open.

I missed Marisa Tomei. Damn.

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