Steve Casey was standing at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 29th Street at 9 am on Friday. Large snowflakes clung to his hair. I noticed he had more grey hairs than the last time I saw him. Being fired from his job at Lasership as a messenger must have stressed the mildly autistic young man. He was standing outside the job, hoping to see his old co-workers—men working like dogs pulling a sled covered in boxes, all on their way to deliver books and other items inside of Barnes and Noble boxes. I felt Steve Casey’s warm presence as I rushed by crowds of busy New Yorkers who all were attempting to make it to their office jobs before 9 am struck.
“What are you doing here?” I asked Steve, knowing he had found another job with another messenger company in the city.
“I called in sick. My new boss has already given me a warning. He said it takes too long for me to make some of my deliveries. It’s true. I like to stand around sometimes. I’m out here waiting for David Martinez and Steve Roman to get off work. We like to walk around the city after work on Friday. Sometimes we play pool, but mostly we just walk around. Want to hang out with us tonight?”
I thought of Steve Roman—by far, the sexiest Latino in the warehouse. I ran into him inside a building on 5th Avenue one day. We laughed and wondered why there was not better coordination at the warehouse when it came to dual deliveries. He asked if “doing checks was hard.” I said it was because there were so many rush deliveries that all needed to be done before 10 am, and other paychecks, ones being delivered to bars on the Lower East Side, that could not be delivered until after 1 pm. “I often have to double-track, and I run around like a chicken with my head cut-off, but I just hate delivering boxes in the city. I feel like a bag lady pushing a shopping cart. I fear that being white, I must look like an easy target to thieves. My cart was ripped off one night on the Lower East Side. I chose to stick to just paychecks.” I explained to Steve Roman that morning. His lips were so big. I stared at them longer than I should have, waiting there for the elevator, wishing he’d hold me down with his big arms and just fuck me right there in that empty lobby. I noticed he once had a piercing below his lip, but the hole was empty. I thought, yes, he’s a freak and can probably be worked, but was it really worth it to sleep with a co-worker after all these years of office celibacy?
“It’s only 9 am,” I reminded Steve Casey, pulling myself away from thoughts of playing pool with Steve Roman and David Martinez that night. “Besides, it’s snowing and my feet are already wet. I think I’ll pass. I want to get home and out of the cold.” David Martinez frightens me anyway, I thought. One morning, he went off on an anti-gay rant—complaining about men who were “ass pipers” and such. Steve Casey was there next to me and gave a consoling glance.
Steve Casey accepted my rejection with a smile. I watched as a snowflake clinging to a hair that had not yet turned white, melted just above his green eye.