His name is Alfred Hitchcock and he talks to me. DO NOT stop reading this post. I have not lost my mind, my marbles, my anything.
Alfred - the king of scary pictures, the one with the funny profile - has become my friend. I will start from the top and work my way down to the bottom.
Our relationship started over the staircase in front of my door. The winding one with the rich engraved mahogany banister that circles around from floor to floor - the one that everyone goes "ooh" and "ahh" about.
"Wow, those stairs are amazing." "What's the story with those stairs, Nancy?" "Nancy, those stairs just speak to me."
All right. Hold your horses. I'll explain. The first day I came to the building to look at the space that would become my loft, I too, asked my future landlord, Julio, about the stairs. I was floored (ha!) by them.
Well, he said, in his best amateur downtown historian I-know-what-you-don't voice, "Those are famous stairs - they were in several movies between 1945-46, one was a Hitchcock movie. Alfred (as if he knew him - yeah - right) directed Spellbound here."
With the sub-text being - you are a fool if you don't move into this building. Those stairs are immortal! Historic! Right in front of your door!
It worked. Alfred spoke to me and said in a deep baritone, "Nancy, take the loft. I will watch over you." That's a stretch - I didn't hear his voice - but, if you must know, I did feel his presence. Well, maybe not, but I loved the idea that I could tell everyone the staircase story. In fact, I reveled in it.
"Did you know that Alfred Hitchcock used those stairs in his classic movies? The Birds. Rear Window. Gregory Peck ran up them. Kim Novak jumped!" Occasionally, I threw in Spellbound for reality. But, I just kept on embellishing the story (okay, fabricating) until it became bigger than life.
I became like the husband or wife, who tells the SAME JOKE at EVERY dinner party. You know, the one you want to stuff cotton balls in your ears for - so you won't ever hear it again...Let me tell you about MY staircase....it's so famous...this building is a landmark. Blah, blah, blah.
Then, one day Alfred really did speak to me. He said, "Nancy, you gotta change your act. Stop talking about these ridiculous stairs! Get a life! Join the union - do something bold."
"Really Alfred?" I said back. "Yes, I mean it. You're in Psycho babble hell. It's time to move on. Forget the crazy lore. Leave the stairs behind."
So from one eccentric nut to the next, we made a deal. I'd stop with the stair story, if he made sure my next movie was a hit. And since I am not nor never plan to be in the movie business, I continue to talk about the stairs, and he continues to haunt me.
And between you and me and the banister - I kinda like having old Alfred around.