Bitter winds seemed filled with sand particles as they slapped my bare hands. Working with mittens on is not easy; paychecks can easily slip from one’s wool covered hands and fall upon piles of dirty New York City snow-slush that covered everything, even the Upper East Side this week. We were delivering W-2’s, a ton of them, and I nearly broke my neck walking down the slippery sidewalks of the East Side in those two storms that struck the city like some angry stepfather beating the hell out of a kid whom he had nothing to do in creating.
At work we wear black pants– ‘Dickies’–or something similar. By close of business each day, our pants were splattered on the backs– salt deposits formed where ice once was, and what was left was freckles on our legs.
Eli had such freckles on his legs. I looked at them on Friday as I awaited in line behind him for the heavy stack of W-2’s being dispatched to both of us. He has those skinny messenger legs that I have too. The black, heavy cotton of his Dickies do little to hide the slender, sexy bodies that foot messengers in New York City have. Eli is so quiet. Rarely does he talk to anyone at the job. When he does speak, his voice is deep and his sentences pure; whereas he fills his dangling windpipe with very few syllables.
I have Eli’s old route, down in the East Village. I sometimes share stories with him about the customers along the route. He just listens and looks at me with brown, chocolate eyes; and sometimes his heavy, caterpillar eyebrows tilt into an angle and I just melt and cannot shut up–
“Hey Eli, Adriel at the Meatball Shop on Stanton Street made me a coffee on Wednesday. It was the best damn cup of coffee I ever had– I suppose it had something to do with the cold.”
“Oh, those guys are cool dudes,” Eli replied. “They once gave me vegetarian pasta. Never had such a thing, but it was good.”
Suddenly I realized that sexy little Adriel at the Meatball Shop is nice to all his messengers. Not just me.