Police were called to the warehouse where I work on Friday. Another messenger got fired and this one, like others who have been canned during the economic crisis, was ready to “bust someone’s ass”.
It’s rare that one lasts for more than a month at the job. It is amazing that I’m still there after a year. I dread the day that I mistakenly deliver or lose one of the paychecks that are entrusted to me every day.
Getting legible signatures for every delivery is not easy. Watching all the men go from the job has hardened my soul for the day that I am told, “Charles, you’re fired! How could you have lost a check?” I will be broke again, but I will not be sad because I will remember all the men who required a police escort to leave.
When I am asked to go, I’ll click my heels and simply tell them to “kiss my pussy” as I turn and shake my ass on the way out the door.
There is a sick twisted side of my professional self that desires to have an affair with one of the hardened, butch men who surround me every morning as I compare a manifest to the hundreds of paychecks that have been dispatched to me. I often try to guess who may have done jail time and which ones may have dabbled in gay sex during long, lonely periods of incarceration.
I haven’t seen Juan Valez, the sexy Mexican who delivers Barnes and Noble boxes in over two weeks. Juan is too young to be jail bait, but he is Mexican and this is his first real job. I fear he too may have been let go. Although we work in separate departments, I am fond of Juan. We started the job just weeks apart. Juan delivered paychecks for a while too but was mysteriously banished to the Barnes and Noble box section of the warehouse where many ex-convicts and recovering drug users squeeze out a living. Juan is just too pretty to deliver boxes. I felt it hurt the company when they took him off his paycheck route.
I continue to give John, a tall, dark-skinned Black guy, an American Spirit cigarette every morning. It must be obvious to John that I have a crush on him. The brothers at the job call him “Snoop Dog” because he looks somewhat like the rapper but in my view, is much more handsome, especially when he has his hair braided.
I gave John a brownie I baked one day.
“What’s this? A pot brownie?” He asked as he smiled, showing off near perfect teeth. I am at least ten years older than John but because he’s so tall, I feel like a little girl just standing there handing him expensive cigarettes and the things I bake.
Two days after giving John the brownie, I bumped into him along my route. He was taking a break and sitting on the steps of “The Church of the Incarnation”, an Episcopal establishment that is currently undergoing construction. The mesh of construction around the cathedral make a great place to hide. John was smoking what was either a joint or a hand rolled cigarette. John was shocked to see me.
“What’s up T?” he asked as I walked slowly by. “Say a prayer for me,” I insisted, wondering what it would be like to be high with him, and whether he would at least let me go down on him.
I fell in love with him several days after he started the job. He had not managed to deliver all his checks before 5 pm, so I was asked to meet him along his route, take most of what he had and get them delivered before the deadline of the end of another day. It was snowing that day. It was a wet snow which is really just rain to a messenger with paychecks that cannot get wet. John was inside a diner on 9th Avenue. I nearly melted when he looked into my eyes with relief. “It’s no big deal. This happens to almost all the new guys,” I reassured. “Here, you take these three and I’ll take these 20.”
I’ve had a special place inside John’s heart ever since that day and remain convinced that under the right conditions, could at least convince him he “owes me one”.
I never offered Juan one of my brownies, cookies or cigarettes. The pretty little thing does not smoke and it seems I never have any of my baked goods on me when he is around.
Although almost completely straight, there is a girlishness to the Mexican that really turns me off and makes me take my cookies elsewhere in the warehouse.
The week of Christmas, on-line shopping is upon the Barnes and Noble box section of the job. I have been asked to help out down there tomorrow. I just finished making a batch of my butterscotch cookies. John just loves them. If the police haven’t taken Juan away to the place where men drop soap on purpose, I’m going to offer him some just to see if John gets jealous like I did the day he didn’t offer me a hit of his joint.