It’s after midnight, and I am at Movieing, my favorite café in Tel-Aviv. The place is still packed despite the hour. Good music. Great coffee. Dimmed lights. I’m sitting at the counter with my laptop, and there are a couple of empty stools on my left.
Someone approaches me. He is French and he is gorgeous, but that’s not why I get enthused. I’ve seen him here before and heard that he is in the film industry. Now I wish I could remember if he is a director or a producer. But no worries. Either way, it’s going to work out for me.
“May I sit here?” he asks.
“Of course,” I reply, and he sits down next to me. Chitchatting, I learn that he is from Cannes—as in the Cannes Film Festival. Surely, such a chance meeting between an aspiring writer and a producer from Cannes is kismet. I can already see myself walking the red carpet…Ooops. Wrong day-dream. Abort! Wrong day-dream. I thought that I was over with the rock star shtick.
“What is it that you are doing?” the gorgeous producer asks, pointing at my computer.
“I’m writing,” I reply.
“Are you writing a book?”
“Actually, I’m at the editing stage.”
“May I read something?”
I catch my breath. My life will never be the same.
“Sure.” Reading the beginning is essential, plot-wise. “I’ll scroll back to page one.”
“I just want to read one paragraph. Whatever page you are on right now, will do.” Well, it’s page four, not one. But who would argue with a big producer from Cannes? Maybe I’ll get to walk the red carpet, after all. JK Rowling did. And although one of my two main characters is American – the protagonist is from outer space – what harm would it do to move him and his family to Paris?
I get a glimpse of the movie trailer in my mind’s eye: everybody speaks English with a French accent except the aliens…Meanwhile, he has finished reading and he looks at me admiringly. Let’s face it: I’m hot. And I don’t mean my looks or personality.
“I didn’t think you would be writing something like that,” he says in awe. So what did he think that I’d be writing? “I was sure that you’d be writing romantic stuff.” Thank heavens he didn’t read page twelve.
“Well, this is exactly what I needed,” he says and seems profoundly pleased, which is very wonderful. Where are the papers to sign? “It was really interesting,” he adds as he stands up. “I have to go now. My buddies have just arrived. Good luck to you with that.”
Not so fast, Mister. “What are you doing in Cannes?”
I had to ask.
“Boring stuff. Marketing electronics. I wish I could do something creative like you. Maybe one day I’ll get into writing, too.”
No films and no red carpets, shish kebab.*
“It was really interesting,” he says again before he leaves.
*Shish kebab: oh no, oy vey, sh** as well as wow, fantastic, get out of here. It also means a Mediterranean food.