So there I was, sitting in an airport departure lounge with my crime novel, minding my own business when a ‘famous person’ came to sit down next to me. I should point out this is because it was the only chair available and not because she thought I would be great company while we waited for the boarding gates to open.
I spotted her coming halfway across the room but kept my eyes more or less glued into the pages where Steve Carella was doing something very important for his deaf and mute wife, Teddy.
Steve Carella works for the 87th Precinct and is the best detective on the squad. He's more than likely the best fictional detective of all time, but this is not a fact that has been allowed to gain traction out in the wider world. If you took a poll of 100 crime fiction lovers, his name probably wouldn't even come up once - unless I happened to be one of them I guess. Once upon a time, I thought he was so cool, I wanted to be him - I even wanted a deaf and mute wife to get closer to the dream but then, I was only 14 and we’re allowed such odd ways of looking at the world at that age.
So, there I sat with my eyes firmly planted inside of Give the Boys a Great Big Hand because to raise them and say hello would mean to acknowledge I ‘know’ who she is, when actually, she is famous for No Reason At All. No respectful reason anyway… and if she was that damn famous, she sure wouldn’t be flying with BuzzAir and sitting in a fake comfortable chair next to me.
Anyway, she’s hammering away at her biblically sized phone with fingernails she bought from a shop and, from the corner of my eye, I see that she has booted up her camera app. I assume she is going to take a selfie, which she does - two or three of them - because nobody that gets their fingernails from a shop can go longer than five minutes without taking one. Then, she tries to take a picture of the tattoos on my arms without me noticing. Well, I think that’s what it was all about… either it was the tattoos or she liked my watch or she quite fancied the look of my book.
She muscled all of these things into one shot and she pauses as she is about to share it with her Magical World Of Friends in which she is followed by 375,856,053 people, when I interrupt:
“What are you going to do with that now?”
She flinches. Rumbled.
“I liked your tattoos. I was going to share it with my friends. Can I tag you in?
“Sure. Why the hell not.”
“What’s your name?”
“Steve Carella. C-a-r-e-l-l-a.”
“What do you do?”
“I’m a detective.”
“Really? You don’t look like one.”
“I wouldn’t be a very good detective if I looked like one, would I.”
“I guess. Wow. That’s really cool.”
“Don’t come crying to me if you get a visit from my boss after you’ve shared that.”
Fingernail Spice hovers her nail above the ‘post’ button.
“I can’t tell you. Undercover - but these aren’t real tattoos.”
“This isn’t even my real hair.”
On which note, I find myself no longer a person of interest and my picture is deleted from appearing in The Timeline Of The Universe.
But for one fleeting moment there I was Steve Carella.
Dreams still grow even when you forget to wish.