I met a friend to see the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar! this afternoon. Before that, we stopped into a nearby restaurant for lunch, and the only tables open were in the bar. After we sat down, I could hear a man at the bar saying to the bartender, “She looks familiar.” I looked over, and he asked, “Did you use to work at the Village Voice?” Yes, I said, but he did not look familiar: a round-faced, slightly heavy-set black man. “It’s Patrick,” he said. Then I remembered Patrick Merry. He had an administrative job, I forget which one, but he was one of the nicer people, when working at the Voice sometimes felt like being in a kindergarten with kids who hadn’t learned social skills yet.
We didn’t have time for reminiscing; my friend was only in town briefly. But I love running into people I haven’t seen in a long time — and it did feel connected to the memorial somehow. On Saturday I was seeing many people I hadn’t seen in a long time. Perhaps I will continue to see people I haven’t seen in a long time for the next several weeks. I would love that.
P.S. Hail, Caesar! is very funny, and full of coy references, and sendups, of old movies.