68. Somebody or nobody.

While I was drawing this, I looked up to see a young man young man staring down at me.
I took my headphones off.
‘Excuse me, Miss,’
‘Yes?’ I said, surprised by his use of ‘Miss’ in reference to me.
‘What’s your name?’ said the young man, who was wearing yellow ochre-coloured chinos, ochre Caterpillar boots, a red shirt with the sleeves rolled up, suspenders, a pair of white-rimmed, green-lensed sunglasses, a ponytail and a goatee
I told him my name and he told me he liked my style of drawing.
‘I really like your style of drawing,’ he said, ‘and I wondered what your name is because I might have heard of you,’
‘You wouldn’t have heard of me,’ I told him, ‘I’m not somebody,’
‘Oh, really?’ he said, ‘Well, even if you are nobody, I still love your drawing.’
I told him thank you, and noticed that in his hand he held what looked to be a script, with yellow highlights on some of the words and ‘Franco’ written across the top.
Then the young man began to tell me about himself.
He told me he is name was Joe, that he was an actor and that he had just been to a meeting at Universal and that he had been in a TV series and that he had made a film that would be coming out soon; a film in which he had a big part.
‘I’m thinking about moving out here,’ he told me, ‘to LA. But to be honest, I’m scared,’
‘Um,’ I said, ‘I can understand your fear, it’s a big change to make. But seeing you’ve already made a TV show, you’ve been in a big film, you’ve had a meeting at Universal, maybe you’re nervous about the unknown, rather than fully scared.’
Joe laughed, and cocked his head to the side.
‘Maybe you’re right,’ he said, ‘I’m not used to having people question me. You’ve made me really think.’
Then he told me the TV series had caused people to be interested in him, but interested for what he was not sure.
‘I’m not sure whether they’re interested in me for me or for me because I’m somebody’
I nodded my head and told him he’d better get used to it.
Then he asked me – ‘Do you find people just want to be with you because of who you are?’
‘No, I don’t think so’ I said, frowning thoughtfully at him, curious that he was still thinking I was a ‘somebody’.
‘Work out who you are and be that and people will want to be with you or not,’ I told him, ‘but work out who you are first.’
He rubbed his goatee and smiled a huge open-mouthed smile, and I looked straight up into his mouth and pondered how very similar this somebody’s teeth were to the teeth of all the nobodies I knew.

Today’s podcast- Bad Women: The Ripper Retold, Episode 3 Polly Walks Out

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