We’re in the downstairs area of a restaurant in one of the two function rooms available. The Mystery Dinner Theatre has just finished [it was the cop, who was upset the eccentric billionaire slash playboy’s chauffeur ran down his family] and we were all chatting about what was a great time.
Then James Gandolfini walked by the door.
Curious, we wandered into the hallway and looked too see where he was going. He walked into the other function room, meeting up with Edie Falco, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale and several other Sopranos cast members.
The only reasonable thing to do in a situation where you are feet away from a closed door Sopranos party is simple, in my mind.
Fast forward a few wines, and I see James Gandolfini head towards the bathroom. I don’t quite know what it is in me, but I’m drawn to celebrities. I’ve only seen The Sopranos a handful of times, and maybe a film or two he was in, so he isn’t even someone who I can become easily obsessed with and begin to act a fool around.
I’m someone who enjoys a challenge, though, and stepped up to the plate. By following him into the bathroom.
I don’t know what I expected to happen. We’d bond over stories of difficult zippers while peeing at the urinal? Share a laugh over some graffiti in the stall? That would be nice, because when I stumbled into the bathroom, I didn’t even have those lame ass ideas to jump off from.
And even if I did, it wouldn’t have helped. When I opened the bathroom door, no one was there. James Gandolfini had disappeared. I’m pretty sure that, according to the laws of every science ever, it’s impossible to just vanish into thin air. Confused, I went to stand in front of the urinal.
Just as I unzipped and began to hold myself, James Gandolfini walked out of a hidden door which led to the inner bathroom, presumably reserved for celebrities and those sober enough to notice it in the first place. He walked over to the sinks, which were semi divided from the urinals by a wall. I had yet to begin peeing. Instead, my body began to expel something else.
Internet. I farted. And when I tell you that what escaped my ass was one of the most alarming sounds I’ve ever heard, I’m not lying. For a long time, it just kept coming, low and deep and resonating off the tiled walls of the bathroom. It lasted so long that seasons were changing.
After I finally finished, there was a pause. No noise from the sink or my ass. Complete silence. Except for the tinkling of my pee. Because of course, this is when I would start peeing. After I alerted the ships in the harbor of the incoming fog bank.
In a flood of shame, I muttered two words.
James Gandolfini took two steps back, stepping out from behind the wall dividing the sinks and the urinals. He turns to look at me, pointing his finger.
“What did you say?”
So to give you a visual, I’m alone in a bathroom with James Gandolfini, and he is talking to me while I am holding myself and peeing into a urinal.
“Um…oh…Well, I farted. And I was a little embarrassed. So I said ‘excuse me’.”
James Gandolfini stood there, still pointing his finger at me while I still had my fingers aiming a stream. He was facing me. I was facing the wall, but had my head turned over my left shoulder so I could face him.
He started shaking his finger at me, up and down. I was still peeing.
“That’s funny.” Shake. Shake. Shake. “I like you.”
He then turned around, opened the door, and headed back to the party. Leaving me standing at a urinal by myself, wondering how James Gandolfini stood there, spoke to me, and told me he liked me while my penis was hanging out of my pants.