A rich guy was questioned by federal authorities at his office on Lexington Avenue this Thursday. The exact address of the arrest has fallen from my recollection; a new paycheck had been added to my route at work, and I was in a building I had never entered, unfamiliar with sign-in rules for messengers, and totally oblvious to what street address I was at. I was unsure of where the elevators were and was paying more attention to trying to find the eighth floor than to a handful of men who were running through the lobby. I cannot pinpoint the exact address in my memory, but I’ll probably be back there next week, delivering to the eighth floor again, and will update this article when information becomes available.
An older white gentleman serving as a type of door man/ ass- kisser for the movers and shakers of the post Bernie Madoff era, had just accepted a holiday envelope from a well-dressed businessman who had asked the doorman what all the commotion at the revolving doors was about.
Men with guns strapped to well- tailored suits with pricey leather belts invaded the midtown office like FBI agents closing in on the wreckage in Roswell. I kept focused on my job at hand, ignoring all the tension and anxiety the doorman was suffering from in lieu of a scandal erupting on his clock. If only I were a reporter for the Times, or an alien from outerspace, I thought, I’d jot it all down—address and all—and keep tabs on what likely will be on CNN tomorrow, following a nasty crash on the Dow Jones Industrial Average that surely will be caused by this stranger who authorities were now after at a building on Lexington.
As a messenger, I see strange happenings of this type all day long, and trying to make sense of them is useless. I speak rarely a word in these buildings of greed; it’s hard enough keeping my head up with pride, and biting my tongue to keep from saying something to piss of one of the rich Jews who run the town. Calling one of them out on their snobbery and cheapness could easily cost me my minimum wage job, so I have made a secret vow never to speak until being spoken to, and even then, do I rarely mumble anything back. It is the perfect job for a schizophrenic—if only my clients knew, they’d simply melt right before me, but they treat me as one of their own—a low life messenger boy who could do nothing with information gathered while being in the right place at the right time.
The doorman with a Willie Nelson swag, tossed his long, half-grey hair neatly over his shoulders and answered the man who had just tipped him– “They are federal agents with a warrant.” The two men looked at each other and exchanged glances which implied that both knew who exactly the feds were there to investigate, and had no plans on speaking names that were likely not innocent. I’m sure, among white-collar thieves, there is a certain respect that is required when a brother is being nailed to the cross of President Obama’s new financial investment regulations. I did not ask a thing and pretended to be dumb, as I’m sure both men already assumed about the messenger waiting for an elevator.
I quickly entered the elevator after sliding bronze doors had opened. A pleasant chime filled the nerve-wracking silence that mysteriously filled the marble encrusted lobby moments before my car arrived.
On may way out of the bronze doors as the elevator touched back down again on the first floor, the hippy door-man instructed me to use the freight exit because “agents are coming in with someone.”
Indeed, it seemed a man was being escorted into the building tied in handcuffs and the agents surrounded him like Neo in the Matrix. A spinning glass door that seemed to be made of some type of African crystal spun non-stop as rows of men entered. I did not have time to capture an identity of any of these Federal Agents, nor was I sure that one of the men was not Janet Neopolitano.
It seemed rather suspicious to me that a potential felon was being escorted into his office and not out of it, but in a world where pricey Madison Avenue lawyers are now a dime a dozen, and when all evidence of an another “totally legal, offshore account” can be remotely destroyed with the push of an internet button, these methods of interrogation must be quite common for our Federal Authorities.
I stepped out into the cold, put up the black hoodie on my Banana Republic coat, once again disguising myself as some sort of alien, and ran like the wind to the next stop on my route– an endocrinologist office on 29th Street– where I never permit the receptionist to use my pen when she signs my manifest for another fat envelope filled with paychecks.