Tuesday, lunchtime, and M Café on Melrose was jumping. Michael Rapaport, star of True Romance, Beautiful Girls and, less gloriously, the sitcom The War at Home, snagged the two-top that I’m fairly certain I saw first for himself. So I staked out a spot at the community table where beautiful strangers sat elbow-to-elbow like well-accessorized sardines gnawing on heaping portions of garish, guilt-free grub. When a tanned and toned couple got up, I lunged for a spot on the bench. Winded from the sudden burst of aerobics, I looked up to find myself sitting across from my doppelgänger, Sarah Silverman, whom I had seen not long ago at a screening of her film, Jesus Is Magic, which she hosted and afterward took questions for. My mom wanted to know why the event didn’t inspire her to do something more polished with her hair, which Silverman had tied up in her signature messy ponytail.
Then a smiling bald giant plopped down next to me and introduced himself.
“Hi. I’m Murphy . . . Scorpio.”
“So you like sex,” I replied.
“And control,” quipped Silverman, ?who was sitting next to a friendly faced, demure fellow.
And so began our community-table dialogue. By the time my lunch date arrived and had taken a seat next to Silverman’s silent sidekick, we were all cracking wise like old friends.
“Wait, you tricked me,” said my meat-loving lunch date, his face dropping as he perused the menu’s vegetarian fare. “I’ll bet even the damn desserts are vegetarian.”
Murphy told us he used to be a professional tennis player and now has his own show on the Tennis Channel.
“There’s a Tennis Channel?” I asked.
“Wait a minute,” said my friend, clearly delighted. “Aren’t you one of the Jensen brothers?”
“He’s a big deal,” my friend informed everyone, and went on to explain how the Jensen brothers, who apparently won the Australian Open doubles title, had brought a certain grunge-rock appeal to tennis as both players and commentators in the ’90s. In short, they were cool. Murphy was pleased to be so remembered, and all of a sudden our table was a little bit abuzz with talk of sports, astrology and houses for rent on the Eastside that get good afternoon sun (that was my topic).
As Sarah and her silent sidekick reluctantly rose to leave, I spied Sex Pistol turned DJ Steve Jones yammering into a cell phone and eyeing her seat — not her ass, but the wooden one beneath it.
“I hate to break up our community lunch,” said Sarah. “It’s like I’m letting you guys down.”
As we said our goodbyes, my lunch date told Silverman, “You two look so much alike. You must get mistaken for her all the time.”
“Oh my God, all the time,” cracked Sarah. “It’s so annoying.”
Jonesy sat down, turned his shoulders away and kept talking.