Alec Baldwin doesn't spend all his time on the phone in New York City, it turns out. Last week, he visited Yale to give a "master's tea" but also took some time to get acquainted with his surroundings. Fortunately, two of the university's creative writing students encountered Mr. Baldwin while he was there—and they recorded their impressions.
From the first student:
As everyone knows, you never forget meeting celebrities. Encounters with the famous leave glowing fingerprints on our lives, as if we have been touched by something fiery and celestial. That's why I'll always cherish my encounter with Alec Baldwin:
Alec: Pardon me, I need to make a phone call.
Me: [Stepping out of his way] Sorry, sorry.
That day, Alec gave a talk at Yale in a lecture hall which seated 175. A hundred more people were turned away when a wrathful fire marshal arrived to crack down on those hoping to loiter in the aisles or stand in the back. One woman, claiming to be "a grad student at the med school here" and to have "a reserved seat," punched the student guarding the door, bolted past him to the lecture hall, and then, when the police came to detain her, escaped down the street. Understandable: physical assault and possible arrest are token prices to pay for a glimpse of Alec Baldwin.
The post-talk dinner with Alec was an even hotter ticket: students lobbied for days in advance to earn a seat at the table. One girl, having won her place, arrived for dinner wearing a curvy summer dress and a full complement of makeup. She immediately set her purse down in a chair at the center of the long table, across from where she anticipated Alec would be, to mark the territory. (I would be hanging in the corner, balancing my plate on my lap.) Ten minutes before eight, Alec rose from dinner with an extravagant thank-you and left to see a play, accompanied by his friend David Blank and by the girl in the summer dress. The rest of us kicked ourselves for not having thought to wear makeup.
Or dressing up like Kim Basinger in Boxing Helena! He probably would have enjoyed that. Anyway, here is the second student's piece:
It's a birthday party at Caf Bottega and everyone is excused in advance. The girls' tops are starting to slip as they dance in private circles, the boys in a parody of stealth sidling up behind them and arhythmically grazing against their hips and asses. Everyone's singing or screaming—it's hard to tell who's doing what.
The more forward ones are already pairing off: they're trading phone numbers and tequila shots, or they have their arms draped around each other's necks and waists, and their heads are bowed, and they dance slow.
Audrey's sitting at the bar. There's a group loosely affiliated with her standing and ordering drinks. "I just don't know how not to be single," one girl's noisily telling a boy. He seems understanding. "Now that I'm in a relationship," she says, "I just keep seeing all these people I should have fucked when I had the chance."
"I wanted him so much," Audrey says.
"Who?" I ask as I sit down.
"I'm at the dinner for Alec Baldwin. I'm wearing this low-cut dress and I'm like he's not going to talk to me but I want to look nice. And Sam, he's locked into me the entire time." She grabs my neck and pulls me towards her. "He's looking at me like this and them he says, what are you doing after this? And I say I'm going to see Lulu at the Rep—I have a friend in it—so he comes with me and he sits through this shit play for two hours and, Sam, he's got his arm around me the whole time."
"Was he sleazy?"
"No, he was charming. I've never met anyone that charming. He asked me if I had a boyfriend and I told him all about Psycho Jeff and what he did when we broke up, and he started telling me all about Kim Basinger and how she was bipolar and we connected. But he's old. He kept asking me how old I was, if I was sure I was 20."
"And then he walks me back to my dorm"
"Did you sleep with him."
"No, he gave me his number. I should have. He asked me if I wanted to come to New York with him for the weekend. I said I was busy and he gavbe me his number. He told me to call him whenever I'm in New York."
"That's awesome," I say and we hug each other. "Careful Aud," I say, laughing. "I've seen how full of yourself you get when something like this happens. I won't be able to talk to you for weeks."
"I know," she says. She's smiling broadly. "All I want is to go to New York. I don't care about anybody else. Fuck you all," she shouts at the dance floor, although the music's so loud that nobody turns. "Fuck you all," she tries again, "Alec Baldwin wants me."
Audrey, honey, darling. Seriously, call us. We'd like you to begin saving your voicemails. —Doree