The ‘One Mile House’ on Delancy Street opens like a Venus Flytrap at precisely 2:30 pm, although service from pretty bar maid Megan happens much later in the day, closer to Midnight, I suppose. The menu boasts of the best of food one can get in this artsy-fartsy part of the Big Apple– burgers decorated with clams and such– the perfect follow after experiencing a good buzz one may catch while bar hopping in this Jewish and Chinese infested part of Donald Trump America.
Megan, a girl from Florida with purple hair, is notoriously punctual when opening the One Mile House. “I live right around the corner,” she shared one winter day. She arrives at exactly 2:30 pm and expects to see me on the steps of the One Mile House with her paycheck. Being a messenger is like being a battered husband, I imagine.
It was extremely hot in New York earlier this week. I typically do not sit down while on my route; my legs often cramp like and old male pussy and it’s hard to get back up after walking for miles on the hot cement streets that seem to melt one’s sneakers. Since Megan was my last stop for the day, I deemed it safe to sit for 15 minutes and wait for her.
While watching a black cat sit on a window ledge five flights up at 195 Chrystie, I noticed from the corner of my green eye, three individuals crossing Chrystie Street in what seemed, in my cat-eye view, like too many clothes for a hot day in the city. Two nuns and a man, perhaps a priest, God only knows, but a man in any regard, approached me as I sat on the bench with my legs crossed like a queen. One of the nuns asked, “Would you like something to eat?”
I laughed like Lucifer in Hell’s kitchen and replied through dry lips, “I’d love some.”
The man of God was carrying a plastic container filled with what was obviously iced tea. Ice cubes had not yet melted. My tongue was on fire and despite all my sins, I pretended to be one of the homeless that mill about during the day in this area. I must have looked homeless, I pile a heavy coat of Banana Boat sunscreen on my face every morning and by later in the afternoon, I’m melting, and looking like a tramp delivering upwards of 60 paychecks a day, to Jews in this part of town. I really wasn’t hungry but desperately wanted some of what was not the symbolic blood of our Lord, but rather what I saw as a true blessing from the Catholic God, if there is such a thing.
The priest pulled out a small Dixie Cup and poured me some. I wanted to ask for more but decided to take what was offered and leave it there. For God’s sake, I thought, there is a warm water fountain just up the street. I drink from there almost every day. Who can afford $1 water when I get paid $1.50 to take Megan her check at 2:30?
Chrystie Street is no place for one to start confessing one’s sins, especially while thirstier than a Jew out of Egypt. One of the nuns handed me a sandwich– ham and mustard on white bread– almost enough to turns one stomach and faith on a hot day. There was enough plastic covering it to stretch from 43rd and 3rd, all the way to Chrystie, ten miles away I imagine with sore feet as I carry these paychecks like I’m on my way to be cruicified or something– and some God awful banana bread that I ate simply because the nun said, “God bless you,” as they walked away.