So far, I've escaped the vicissitudes of fame. True, I get about 100 hits a day on my website, but I imagine most of those are random and few stay long enough to remember my name. So I can wander freely around the Village without disguise and without bodyguards.

But I probably could anyway. Bruce Spears, Britney's brother, who lives on my floor, doesn't seem to be bothered by all his sister's fans (she has her own apartment upstairs -- I've probably ridden on the elevator with her, but I wouldn't recognize her; lots of slender, fashionably dressed young blondes go in and out of the building all the time). Richard Gere, who has an office downstairs, got on the elevator with me the other day, normal, unaccompanied, and friendly. I'm sure he's more famous than I, but fame doesn't make everybody crazy. Keith Richards, who used to live upstairs (he bought two big apartments and joined them), did seem crazy, or maybe just high, when I ran into him on the elevator. He crouched in the corner as though trying to disappear. He usually (I was told) came and went through the service elevator in back, I suppose so as to evade crazed fans like me. At the time, I didn't know who he was. I wouldn't even have recognized Cher -- she also used to have an apartment upstairs, but is long gone -- except that she made it impossible not to notice her. One time I barely fit into the elevator with her and her entourage and her hair, which that night was enormous. Tonight or tomorrow, Madonna is gonna be upstairs, in the suite that Tower Records keeps for distinguished guests, because on Wednesday she is signing records in Tower Records (on the ground floor). Maybe that's the real reason the building employees' strike was postponed until next week. She'll be mobbed, I expect -- but, like Cher, she has had to go to a lot of trouble to attract attention, especially in this neighborhood.

So I think that if I should become famous, Greenwich Village will be a great place to do it, because nobody will bother me. Lots of people won't even notice, and the others will pretend not to -- except for the tourists from New Jersey.