Not to sound like a hipster, but Donnie Darko hit me right in the feels as a teenager and made me want to punch all the teenagers (when I was in the 20’s) who kept spouting “I love Donnie Darko, but I don’t get the ending.”
Let’s push that all to the side, and get back to the story, though. Back at the coffee shop in the West Village (yes, a mecca for celebrities, as it turns out) I was still new. DDL had come in, but I figured he had been a fluke.
I was working on register (the job for the newbs and the math savvy – I was both at the time) and I could feel a customer behind me. I spin around and see a guy that looks familiar. I assumed he was a regular that I just didn’t recognize yet.
So I spin around and say “Hey, what’s up?” (you know, because I’m cool) and halfway through my “what’s” I realize….
From what I remember, I let out some weird giggle and kind of asked what I could get him.
Then he made the mistake of asking if we had anything that was caffeine free.
After the Liv Tyler incident, I went caffeine free for a bit, and had been, at that very moment, drinking our caffeine free Ice Hibiscus tea.
Instead of saying that, I said something like “Guh…. we have this” and held up my drink… explaining nothing.
I just about stopped breathing.
I didn’t even care that he was shorter than I thought he’d be.
I can’t be sure, but I must have gotten the drink, rung him up, and smiled at him. He stood off to the side.
The place was PACKED that day. We got a lot of moms mid-day talking to their busy career lady or other mom friends. For some odd reason, no one else recognized Jake, besides me, so I was left to have a mild panic attack alone. He stood to the side while I did my best to help the customers.
After the line died down, Jake (yup, first name basis) came back up to the counter and (as I recall) softly whispered to me (though he probably just said): “Is it ok if I wait for a table here? I’m meeting someone…”
What I thought I said was:
I managed to keep of the “because you’re Jake Gyllenhaal” part to myself.
He kind of smiled and awkwardly laughed at me and moved off to the side. One of the other guys came in and I quickly explained what happened and made him be on register so I could hide behind the espresso machine and have an actual panic attack.
While that happened, one of our regulars, Michael came in.
He sat down and talked with Jake for a while. Jake Gyllenhaal came up and asked Adam, my co-worker that I forced to be on register) for an everything bagel with cream cheese. I had to make it, because I switched to that station and Adam gingerly asked me if I would like to bring it out to my boyfriend. I politely asked him to die in a fire.
I took a break and got some convenience store sushi, hoping Jake would be gone by the time I got back… He wasn’t.
My shift finally ended. I got to leave and properly freak out to someone. Jake was still there when I left.
Jake Gyllenhaal was in October Sky with Laura Dern…
Who was in I Am Sam with Sean Penn…
who was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon.
That makes me 3 degrees from making an ass of myself in front of Kevin Bacon.