Steve Casey had holes in both his shoes. Most messengers at the Lasership wear tennis shoes, but Steve wore black dress shoes. The streets of Manhattan are tough on one’s feet.
I became friends with Steve one evening at the warehouse after my cart of Barns and Noble boxes had been ripped off. A man with red hair ran off with three of the boxes on my cart. I was upset over the incident, but Steve told me not to worry because it happens to everyone who delivers boxes in Manhattan.
We went out for coffee after work that evening. I learned while inside a Starbucks that Steve does not drink coffee. He also explained that he does not drink alcohol. He claims to have a mild form of autism.
I told Steve that he seemed quite normal to me, but he was convinced that something is wrong with his mind and he explained that he had not had sex in a very long time. I told him as a professional in the mental health field, and not just a messenger, that often individuals are over-diagnosed in a mental health setting and that sex was overrated anyway.
After learning of my sexuality while inside that Starbucks, Steve had a change in his outlook on life. He told me, without blinking his beautiful green eyes, that he ran into a transsexual while on the streets at work. The trainee asked for his number, and Steve, being autistic, gave it to her.
Steve had sex with the drag queen. I asked if he was well hung. Steve said she was.
Weeks passed before I ran into Steve at work again. He was crossing Seventh Avenue early one morning as I was on my way to 210 East 23rd Street to drop off a large shipment of paychecks.
Steve had on a new pair of shoes and a swagger to his step.
“I called in sick yesterday,” Steve explained. “Issac told me on the phone that if I did not come in, I would get fired today. I think I’m going to get fired. If I get fired, can I follow you on your route?”
“Sure,” I said, “But you are not going to get fired. Not from a crappy minimum wage job like this. This job sucks anyway, Steve. You’re too good for it.”
He smiled. He seemed to believe me.
Steve called me on my cell phone on Thursday, just as I was stepping out of a high rise building in Soho.
“I got fired, Charles, and not because I took off work.”
“Why did they fire you?” I asked.
“Because Isaac said that even though it was Valentines Day I should have come to work. I didn’t think his comment was funny, so I told him it was inappropriate. Then he fired me.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I offered to take him out for a beer. Steve agreed. He seemed relived to be fired from the hell hole where I still work. Perhaps the drag queen cured him of his autism and I will cure him of this horrible recession.