On a recent trip to New York, I pursued a silver-haired, bandy-legged guy four blocks up Park Avenue convinced it was Steve Martin. I overtook him, then stopped, trying to affect a look of bewilderment.
“Am I anywhere near Bloomingdale’s?” I asked him.
He looked at me with Martin’s trademark currant-eyed, quizzical expression. “Er…I…not speek Eengleesh?”
Either Steve Martin was acting or this wasn’t Steve Martin. (Both feasible I guess – Martin must get sick of the spurious Bloomingdale’s query). I limped off in my ludicrous heels feeling slightly foolish.
Clearly I need glasses, as I have been convinced that I’ve seen Mark on numerous recently occasions too. Like, serious, Patrick Stewart-style quadruple take-type situations. (check that out here if you haven’t seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFMrBldVk0s).
He’s been in cars, on buses, on a crossing, coming round a corner; a round-faced, smiling apparition with that familiar gait which momentarily jolts my heart. I find this is happening with increasing frequency too. As if I am purposefully looking for Him in crowds, willing Him to appear.
Perhaps this is all part of the denial, the sniff of suspicion I have that He’s not really dead. That He’s fooling around and is apt to make a heroic return at any given moment. After all, that body I saw in the funeral home, with its not-quite-Mark nose – well, it could have been a waxwork. It sure as hell felt like one.
Logic tells me these are ghosts; doppelgangers, like Steve Martin’s German counterpart on Park Avenue.
But I am poised with a Bloomingdale’s-style query at the ready for the next time I see Him, just in case.