Perhaps meeting a real celebrity is someone else’s daily norm. It sure isn’t mine. Although, I’ve had a few run-ins with the famous. I mean, I will never forget the day I stood feet away from Harrison Ford, or the time Robert Pattinson spoke to the group where I was sitting in the front row, but the day I met him. Well, that is burned in my memory.
It seems like my entire life has been a weird twist of chance meetings and crazy events, but I really thought working at a local bookstore would be a peaceful uneventful use of my time. I don’t really know when he entered the store, or for how long he had perused the history section, but I do know that he was looking for a book on George Washington’s battle strategies.
I had been studying the latest loss prevention quiz when he walked up to my counter. I remember looking up from the screen and first noticing a gentleman with a very beautiful and expensive black suit on. It was tailored, and hung to his body accentuating his magnificent form. I remember thinking, “Wow, this guy has money,” even before I saw his face.
As I stared into his pale blue eyes, he smiled. I thought that I must be mistaken. This man couldn’t be who I thought he was.
Then he asked, “Ma’am, can you help me? I’ve been looking for a book on George Washington’s battle strategies, and I can’t seem to find it.” His voice gave me chills. It was unmistakable, the cadence, the tone.
I asked for the title, shaking a bit, trying to remain professional, but dying. I must admit my hormones were raging and heat was radiating off of every part of me. I was hoping he didn’t notice.
He gave me the title, and then said, “In my line of work I don’t get to read for pleasure much.” I plugged the title into the computer, and when the results popped up, I saw that we had two copies in the store, so I politely asked him to wait while I went in search of his treasure.
Unfortunately, I was still relatively new to my job, and I didn’t realize that the book was back listed, meaning it had been pulled off of the shelf, until I asked for help finding it. I was so embarrassed. I dreaded telling him that the book he wanted was no longer available.
Reluctantly, I left the history section and headed back to the counter. He was still standing there, waiting patiently. I apologized and told him I misread my screen and it was no longer in the store; however, I could order it for him, if he would like. He just smiled, and said he didn’t have time to wait, and that he appreciated me checking on it for him.
Of course, I told him it was no problem, and my pleasure. I also apologized again. I could feel my knees buckling as he walked away from my counter, so I grabbed on for dear life. I was not going to hit the floor.
As soon as he was through the double glass doors I picked up the phone and dialed the numbers for the head cashier. I could barely wait for her to answer before I blurted out, “Deb, I think I just helped Nicolas Cage!”
In less than a minute she was at my counter asking for all the details. I told her what had happened, and how we didn’t have his book. She told me, “I would’ve dug through every box in the store if you’d told me who you were helping.”
So, my encounter with a man that resembled Nicolas Cage created quite a stir at the local bookstore. In fact, the management team went through all of the security footage for that day. Their conclusions where “inconclusive,” and I was some-what of a joke around the store.
But, they didn’t hear his voice. I will never forget his voice.
Was it Nicolas Cage? I don’t know for sure. I will always believe it was, and I don’t want to know any different.