Chris Eigeman draped his blazer over the back of his chair and sat down at a table near the back of a Starbucks crowded with people working on their and catching up with friends. No one noticed him, although they never really had. His fame was of the smaller, more curated type. Most of his days were spent in quiet, calm anonymity, and then when he was recognized, he was REALLY recognized. Chris Eigeman only had superfans. He took a sip of his half-caff macchiato and looked at his watch. Ed Westwick was 10 minutes late. Eigeman opened the paper and skimmed the International section, hoping to catch up on the crisis in Georgia. It had been harder and harder to get news from that part of the world now that the explosiveness of those first few days had moved off the front page, but Eigemen recognized that things were far from resolved and that the potential for things to boil over into international catastrophe remained not only strong, but perhaps even probable. Chris Eigeman cared about the world he lived in.
A man standing in the line for the bathroom began to talk loudly into a wireless headset about his stomach problems while sipping on a venti something. There was whipped cream on his nose. Chris Eigeman loved to people watch. He also loved punctuality. Ed Westwick was now a full forty-five minutes late. That was the time of an elementary school child’s music recital. That was the time of a full scene of a Stoppard play. Chris Eigeman watched as a frazzled looking barista with her ponytail pulled up over the strap of her Starbucks visor squeezed a nearly empty bottle of mocha syrup into a small cup. Things were different in Chris Eigeman’s day. Coffee was 25 cents and you bought it at the deli. People honored their engagements. But it was the 21st century now. He had a goatee.
After an hour and a half of waiting, Chris Eigeman saw Ed Westwick enter the café. He didn’t open the door so much as casually lean into it. Eigeman raised his hand to signal the young actor where he was sitting. Ed Westwick barely acknowledged Eigeman, except to purse his lips a little bit, and draw his eyelids down into a bedroom squint. Westwick slumped into a chair and kicked his feet up onto the table.
“I’m knackered,” he said. “Spent all last night chasing after this girl at Bungalow. She wasn’t even that fit.”
“You know, I used to be a lot like you,” Chris Eigeman said.
Ed Westwick nodded. Or at least moved his head slightly. He was staring at something on his cashmere pants. He was, Chris Eigeman realized, still drunk.
“Or at least, played a really similar character in a lot of my earlier roles. Sort of the charming, over-privileged, effortless louche who–“
“Oy, do you have a fag?” Ed Westwick interrupted.
“A ciggy? A fag?”
Chris Eigeman shook his head. He’d given up smoking years ago.
“Cheers mate,” Ed Westwick said, and stood up. He left the café and never came back.
“What a stupid piece of shit,” Eigeman thought to himself. But he kept his silence. He was, after all, a gentleman.