Monday, April 24, 2006
Meeting Kate Mulgrew #1
My love affair with Kate Mulgrew started when she first put her hands on her hips and blew the fuck out of something with a photon torpedo. Oh, we'd had a whirlwind seven years before she went back to her true love - theatre - and leaving me with nothing but memories and an alarm clock shaped like the USS Voyager that barked me awake with her charmingly acidic voice.
Many years later, I'm sitting in a theatre bar with my friend Tim. Almost post-coital. We'd just seen her on stage where she was appearing in 'Exonerated'. An oddly-uplifting play constructed from the testimonials of Death Row inmates.
"It feels like my entire life has lead up to this moment you know. Here I am, in a bar after just seeing Kate Mulgrew on stage. I'm in the same building as Kate Mulgrew. And," I said, pointing theatrically at the table, "Do you know they filmed my favourite episode of the olden Doctor Who here? I tell you, if I never manage to get my hair in any fabulous style past this point, I will still be happy."
Tim's a devote Trek fan, not Who. So this extra layer of geekery was slightly lost on him. Still, we'd just spent the last ten minutes discussing the pros and cons of a Seven of Nine lead figurine. It would make a great paperweight but would be awfully top heavy. 'Norgs of Borg' we used to call her. '36DD of Nine'.
"The Doctor Who ep was 'The Chase'," I pressed. "God's honest truth it contains the line 'Pubic lice in secret tunnels'. And possibly the worst fake American accent in TV history ever."
"When was it filmed?"
Tim coughed. "Perhaps it was the retaliation against Dick Van Dyke's first strike in Mary Poppins."
"Speaking of accents, didn't that second man from the end look and sound remarkably like Danny Glover? Spooky, in fact."
"That's because it was Danny Glover."
I recoiled slightly. "You're kidding me."
Now I'm not very observant. I didn't realise that they were going to all get off at the end, despite the play being called 'Exonerated'. All I saw was 'Starring Kate Mulgrew' underneath it. As far as I was concerned that's what it had been called.
"She looked directly at me, you know," I said with a wistful air. "When she said the word 'privacy'." Tim was rolling his eyes. "No! Really. We had a real connection. Perhaps there was a sly meaning in it. You know what I mean."
"I really just wanted her to say 'Coffee. Black.'" said Tim, studiously ignoring my waggling eyebrows.
Heathen child. "It doesn't all come down to Trek, you know," I tutted. "She was in Mrs Columbo and everythi-"
I stopped. Tim was grabbing my wrist; my watch biting into my skin.
"Kate Mulgrew is at the bar," he hissed.
The world went quiet around me. All I could hear for a second was my pounding heart.
"Where?" I hissed back.
He gestured with his eyes. And there she was, ordering a large glass of white wine.
"That's Kate Mulgrew," I whispered.
"Ordering a large glass of white wine."
"A very large glass of white wine."
We looked at each other.
"We have to go and talk to her," I said.
"Jesus, it's not just a large glass of wine. It's a goldfish bowl on a stem!"
We stared at each other for a moment, willing the other to come up with a dramatic solution to the state of affairs. "We can't," I said after a moment, completely chickening out. And all of a sudden the magic was broken, the devil-may-care camaraderie where we could conquer countries.
"It's wrong," agreed Tim, slightly relieved.
"She needs her space," I added. "She's just come off stage."
And we slunk down in our chairs, hiding our disappointment with overly-macho laughing, trying to be funnier than we actually were. But we couldn't really meet each other's gaze.
And then I thought 'fuck it.'
"Lend me a tenner," I said.
"Lend me a tenner! I've got no money." I rose from the table, praying that my legs wouldn't let me down.
He handed one over. "Where you off to?"
"Get a round in."
And I headed over to the bar.
To Be Concluded tomorrow.