Thursday, June 16, 2005

I keep running into Natalie Portman

This is like the third time in the past year or so. It was intermission tonight at the New York Philharmonic concert, and I was headed for the concession table when I see a familiar-looking shaved head right in front of me in the throng. Gradually, I realize, down to the beauty mark on her cheek, yes, it's Natalie Portman, all right, just with less hair than she usually has.

She was with a middle-aged woman and a balding but youngish guy with glasses. I want to say they were all related somehow, but I wasn't sure. I only heard Natalie speak for a bit -- she wasn't talking very loud -- but I think the other woman (who may have been her mother, I guess) was asking her about some upcoming trip to Spain. Natalie was wearing a grayish peasant shirt and jeans, and carrying a kind of patchwork-quilt handbag. During the second half of the performance, she and the guy sat one in front of each other in the third and fourth row of the orchestra, and the mother-looking woman sat near me, off to the left of center -- all separate for some reason.

I tried to contrive some reason to talk to them, as they were right next to me a few times: walking out at intermission, then in line at the concession stand, sipping their coffee, and then finally leaving when it was all over. But no; didn't happen.

Can celebrities meet new people, I wonder, without having their celebrity be a major part of the introduction, of the attraction, of the basic interest in getting to know someone?

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