Of all the sidewalks in all the world he showed up on mine.
It was a bright, Thursday afternoon and I was heading back towards Columbus Circle from CBS Broadcast Center. As I passed my old stomping ground, the Time Warner Center, I looked up from my phone and there he stood.
He was there. Nerves bubbled up inside me but I didn't stop walking, I didn't alter the course. I knew I had to say something.
Never mind that I was carrying two man grooming products in my hand.
He moved his cell phone from his ear just as I got to him.
"Mister Anthony Bourdain..." I unconsciously entered flirt-mode. That moment felt right. And although I was shocked, the moment wasn't unexpected. I knew we'd cross paths eventually.
He's TALL. I'm short, yes, but Anthony Bourdain is TALL. He responded, "Hey, how are ya?" in the gravely voice I love hearing narrate his shows.
He made eye contact. He acknowledged me. Thank you.
I continued on my way. On the inside I was !!!!!!!! while I tweeted and texted friends but I maintained my sultry exterior. This is a man who's "diddled my culinary travel nub exquisitely" in the past. I was vibrating HIGH after that encounter.
While I was participating in a class filming with Bethenny Frankel (that show will air on September 11 then I'll give you more details) she made a comment about being in a room of people who [all] know her but who are anonymous to her.
So, Mr. Anthony Bourdain, allow me to introduce myself.
I'm Abigail Ekue. I'm a writer and photographer. I was the Black woman carrying the man-groomers as I walked by you on 58th Street on Thursday, September 5, and flirted (hopefully shamelessly). I'd let you touch my hair.
I have a nude photo of you on my vision wall flanked by a photo of a dog wearing glasses, for emphasis, which reads: I am who I am. Your approval is not needed. Mr. Anthony Bourdain, your photo represents many things to me -- your "take me as I am" attitude, owning your shit (all your shit), that one day I'll get to have you in front of my lens, either nude, or as a part of my Father Portrait series. To your left reads the affirmation: I'm going to be free and I'm going to travel the world. That's pretty self-explanatory. I grouped most of the freedom (physical, metaphysical and spiritual) and travel vibes together on that section of my wall.
I want to opportunity to make you laugh, Anthony. A hearty belly laugh. I laugh quite often when I read your work or watch your shows; I want to return the favor. I can only imagine your answers to some of my interview questions. "A Random Moment With Anthony Bourdain" will be magical and raw. We can have our tête-à-tête in the Brooklyn you rarely visit or return to Flushing. I own Native Creative Concierge, it's my job to immerse one in the New York they rarely see. I'm sure I can find a suitable restaurant you've never been to before and one that's far away from hipsters. I'd also love to practice my newly acquired French with you parce que je sais mon français ne parfait pas. I promise I won't ask you to dance or break into song.
You let me know it's OK to be a late bloomer; success can come at anytime in a person's life. Put in the work and let life teach you all the lessons until you're ready. I love Camembert. I can cook meat. Very well. Not well done. Anthony Bourdain, I want to feed you meat and keep your whiskey or Guinness topped off.
I look forward to working with you. Thank you.
* * *