Francesca, a British woman I’m pegging to be in her late 30s, shows up wearing gloves. She seems flustered. She’s holding a notepad full of notes and a Broadway-style hat. She tells me she just reviewed a “Frank Sinatra show” and was inspired to wear a hat. Realizing the hat’s still in her hand, she plops it onto her head. Her gloves stay on for the whole interview until I finally ask her why she’s wearing them. It’s not a particularly cold day.
“Oh, they’re for driving,” she tells me.
“I never understood the whole driving-gloves thing,” I say. “But maybe it’s a British thing. I’m more curious why you’re still wearing them.”
She pulls one off and I see she has writing on her hand. She tells me it’s a note so she wouldn’t forget what she had to say. I ask her to read the note. “It says older guy.”
I laugh. “I can’t believe you had to write it down to remember that you like older men.” She doesn’t respond. “Older than what?” I ask.
She says, “I believe everyone should be judged not by their age or their job but by the content of their character.” She says she knows I’ll make fun of her for that statement when I write this. But she doesn’t seem to mind, which I like.
Francesca’s energetic. She gets distracted incessantly and will suddenly stop talking and stare at the street if there’s any action. When she talks to me, she acts out her sentences with her hands, gesticulating to accentuate various words. She refers to her notes often and speaks cryptically. I’m frustrated, and I let her know. She tells me she’s trying to be mysterious. I tell her she’s doing a good job, as I know nothing about her. Information comes in spurts.
She was raised a show-biz kid — but when I ask her if she’s an actor, she scoffs. She’s a dancer, I think. And a roller skater. And a theater reviewer. She just finished shooting an episode of “Bones,” where she played a roller-derby skater. She was a swing dancer on stage at a Brian Setzer Orchestra show at the Hollywood Bowl. Clearly, there’s talent there.
I ask her about wanting older men. “Younger guys don’t know a lot of things. Being well traveled and well read I appreciate the company of an older man who has lived a bit. I've had a lot of life experiences for my age so i'm looking for someone who can compliment me intellectually, socially and spiritually. I’m looking for an archaeologist, because the older I get, the more interested he’s going to be in me.” She laughs hysterically after that joke.
“I love not knowing what’s going to happen every day or week. The unknown is completely fascinating for me, and that’s how I want to live my life. No one can hit my mark in terms of eccentricity. I’m a Gemini, and I have so many different personalities. They’re all positive. I can be a social butterfly one moment and then just be on my own for hours to think.”
There’s a noise outside and she pops her head up like a puppy. And then, as if Francesca could sense the bad luck coming, a gardening truck backs into her car. The driver parks and is about to walk away when I run out to stop him. Francesca follows me. The driver denies it. I get louder and bring him over to look at the chunk he took out of her bumper. Francesca says, “Hey, no worries,” and lets him off the hook. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff. The gardener, knowing she won’t make him pay for the damage, then admits his mistake and apologizes. She thanks me, puts on her other glove and drives off.
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.
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