sighting

A few months ago, I was helping a customer at my work when halfway through the transaction I realized who he was. He had told me his name on the phone, not a terribly common name, but I hadn't thought anything of it until I found myself noticing him. Not his looks so much as how polite and down to earth he seemed. 

The vibe this guy was putting out kind of pulled me into paying more attention to him and looking at his face with curiosity, which had a familiarity I couldn't place until I mentally reattached it to his name. Then it hit me. He's a music producer that you'd only know if you're familiar with EDM - but he's extremely well known. I haven't listened to his stuff in years, but from 2012 - 2014 I was obsessed with him. He was one of my EDM gateway drugs, and I have many memories of seeing him at probably half a dozen festivals, first as a side stage then as a headliner, which he remains now. Massive following, massive social media presence. A couple of his songs are in my top ten favorites to this day and his Ultra 2013 set was my running soundtrack for months after it was released.

The moment I realized who he was my brain absolutely short circuited. I think my mouth actually opened and shut a couple of times stupidly, while he stood next to me waiting to finish paying for his food. 

"I'm sorry," I said, mercifully not stammering. "I just realized..." I trailed off and shook my head. "Sorry," I tilted my head and made a sheepish face I hoped communicated my helplessness in the moment.

He laughed, understanding. "Not at all."

I nodded at him. "Big fan." I couldn't help myself. 

He laughed again. "Well I'm a big fan of your food, so."

And that was it. He left. I turned around to see my head chef staring at me. "Your face is beet red," he said, and proceeded to savage me for the rest of the day.

Well, he came back yesterday. And here's the kicker. The exact same fucking thing happened again. He didn't call in his order this time. He walked in and gave it in person. And this time I was again noticing the very friendly and warm vibe he was putting out, which led me to notice the tattoos on his forearms, which drew my attention to the t-shirt he was wearing, which made me peek up at his face and...Oh my fucking god Ellie, you absolute moron. He literally just told you his name again thirty seconds ago.

I stopped typing and just started smiling, kind of dropped my head and nodded, as if caught out. He laughed. "We did this last time, didn't we?" I said in a low voice, flinching at my own ridiculousness. "We did," he smiled and answered in the same low tone, sympathetic to my clear self-cringe. 

As it happened, my kitchen was a disaster yesterday, only because we are severely understaffed and in the middle of training two new people. And of course he would come on that day. Of course

Sundays are my Fridays and I'm always absolutely wrecked by early afternoon. Which is probably why I started babbling to him like an idiot, not fangirling I swear, but making small talk about shows and things opening up and how the east coast is open and when do you think LA will be and before I knew it he was pulling out his phone to show me something on it while I'm frantically trying to telepath to the kitchen to HURRY THE FUCK UP with his order before I make an absolute ass out of myself. 

It took about ten years for my new chef to make his food, bless her heart, because he ended up ordering more -- but the whole time he waited he made a big show of NOT being impatient, if that makes sense. Pretending he was super absorbed in his phone or browsing my store, never once betraying the slightest bit of bored body language. Like, truly the nicest, chillest guy ever, with a personality that totally belies the off-the-chain jackassery he plays up online. 

But wait. It gets better.

Not long after he left, one of our daytime regulars came in, a youngish guy who always chats up my FOH kid Johnny about music (they both produce electronic). I've never really engaged much with this guy, though I am aware he's an EDM person. So here I am, all supercharged off my second interaction with this music celebrity, and I decide to get cute and name drop on this kid.

"You produce music, right?" I say to him as I'm getting his drink.

"Yeah I do!" he says brightly. "My studio is right around the corner." 

"Well you just missed Dillon Francis," I grin.

He grins back, pauses for a second. "Dillon Francis is my client. He's my best friend." 

Yes. This is what happens. 

This is what he says to me. This is the web of humiliation that I have woven for myself, on a sunny Sunday, in the spring of 2021, in West Hollywood, California, with a mere six words.

My friends. I wanted to drop into a hole in the ground. I want to drop down into the ground where they're boring the Purple line extension and have the boring machine bore through me, because by now I've realized I've made an absolute, 100%, irredeemable IDIOT of myself to these two men, and in no less than five minutes they are going to be howling about this back in the studio.

"Oh my god," I say. "You can't tell him I said that. Oh my god. Please. Promise me," I implore. I am numb with horror. I am thirteen years old, awkward, revealed for the dork I deeply am. 

He laughs, shaking his head. "No no no, all good. You're adorable, it'll make his day. But I won't tell him," he says. I rub my eyes. We both know he's lying. 

"He's older now," he adds. "He actually appreciates stuff like that now." 

I sigh the deepest, most defeated sigh of my life, resigned to the fact that I have now cemented my identity as the goofy fangirl at their favorite lunch spot.

I accept it. I will assume the mantle. I will wear the crown. I have danced, all day and all night, in much worse.

---

P.S., motherfuckers -- EVERY GODDAMN TIME