Nobody Knows Anybody. Not That Well.

Hard to believe 25 years have passed since Miller's Crossing was released. While I often think of the film, there is one line in particular that rings true, "Nobody knows anybody. Not that well." It's a line from the gangster Tom Reagan who's played by Gabriel Byrne.

I once took the Amtrak from Penn Station, NY to Union Station, DC with Gabriel Byrne. We disembarked at the same time and I stood behind him in line for the taxi cabs across from our Nation's Capitol. I recall his silver metallic wheeled bag hit my foot while we were waiting and for reasons I can't fathom, I asked him if I could take his picture. He politely said no and I waited an eternity for the line to move and him to get in his cab.

That line, written by the Coen Brothers, echoed in my mind the rest of the evening. "Why the heck did I ask Gabriel Byrne for a picture? I know better. I'm a New Yorker."

Truth is, I don't why I did it. I don't think any of us know why we do what we do. It's all a crap shoot when we leave our homes each day. I never know what I'm going to have for lunch. How does anybody figure any of it out?

It's astonishing when people think they do know you. They say things they believe to be true and most of the time it flies way off the mark. We just ignore them, change the subject. How bout the weather? Maybe we can agree on that. 

"Nobody knows anybody. Not that well." For some strange reason we think we do know people, just not what we ourselves are going to wear tomorrow.   

Gabriel Byrne in Miller's Crossing