I was listening to Mahler’s 5th Symphony on my phone when I saw her walk into the almost empty restaurant. The Yorkshire Grill was about to close, but she made it in just before the chef or cook closed his kitchen. She ordered the avocado tomato lettuce sandwich, which ironically enough I was eating at the time. Since there were but four other people sitting around the diner counter, I took my ear plugs out of my ear and commented to her “did I influence your choice of meal?” She smiled and told me, that she comes in here quite often and orders the same item on the menu. I said “me too.” She was three seats away from me, and of course I just wanted to move closer to where she is eating, but I thought that was a tad creepy on my part. She asked me what was I listening to before I spoke to her, and I told her a symphony by Mahler. Out of the blue, she said “Oh I never heard his music, but I did see the Ken Russell film on him, that was kind of good.” Now I was intrigued.
“My name is Tosh, and I’m a huge Ken Russell fan.” I told her that I have seen every film by him, and liked them all, except for “Tommy.” Oddly enough both of us have seen and admire his early film, a documentary on Spike Milligan, with that common love, I could move closer to her seat at the counter. Her name is Virginia and she told me that she took an interest in fashion, but was also an actress, and worked with a filmmaker named Henry Lehrman, and it was sort of her on and off boyfriend as well. After our meal, we ordered coffee as the kitchen crew was cleaning up the restaurant. She started talking about her life more, and that she wants to have her own line of clothes, but is also interested in acting. She mentioned to me that when her mother died (doesn’t know her father) she moved in with her grandmother (doesn’t know her grandpa) and started work as an artist model. She has done this off and on as well, and told me that she did her first full nude modeling job when she was 23. I raised my eyebrow and she told me to “put that eyebrow down. It was strictly business and the class was full of housewives.” I told her that I would never underestimate the power of a housewife, especially with a brush in hand and in front of a canvas.
She asked what I did, and I told her that I was a publisher and writer, but my press is tiny, and my writing hasn’t been accepted by many. “No one?” “Afraid not, most people who read my writings, think I am too focused on myself.”
“Ah you’re a man of the world” she commented.
I told her “no, I only the know the planet of Tosh, which doesn’t go beyond this coffee counter or downtown.” At this point, we exchanged e-mail addresses, and she told me that she has to get back to her hotel in the area. I asked her that I’m in the mood for a little stroll and if I could walk with her to the hotel. She said sure, and we left the exit and headed east to Main where she was staying at the Hotel Cecil. I asked her if she minded if we go to the Last Bookstore, which is sort of on the way. Once we got there, I bought her a copy of my book, “Sparks-Tastic” and gave it to her. She was amazed that I had a book out, and she wanted to know why I didn’t mention it in the first place. I told her that I didn’t want to brag, but it was true that as a writer, I’m not famous, but…. She laughed “well I’m an actress, and I bet you don’t know any of my films.” I thought about it for a second or two, and said to her “Oh.” After purchasing the book I offered to sign it for her. “What’s your full name Virigina?” Virginia told me that she will spell it out, because most people mispronounce her name, and it’s embarrassing to her. “It’s R.A.P.P.E. I looked at her and said “are you sure there’s two P’s there?” She hit me on the shoulder, and I wrote “To Virginia R.A.P.P.E., May we not forget this very brief meeting on July 7, 2014. With the warmest regards, Tosh Berman.”
I walked her to the Hotel, and she mentioned that she is taking a plane tonight to San Francisco for a party, which may or may not play an important role in her career as an actress. I asked her where she is staying in San Francisco, and she told me at the St. Francis, and I whistled and said “fancy.” She said she’s staying there, because there is a party tonight, but plan to leave the next day back to Los Angeles. I told her to feel free to e-mail me once she’s back, and maybe we can go to a film or something. We shook hands, and she entered the hotel and I walked towards Main to catch my bus back home.