An old man clawed his way onto an elevator at 369 Lexington Avenue early this morning. His wrinkled hand reached through a narrow space in the elevator as the doors attempted to close. I was reviewing my delivery manifest and turning to the page where a customer on the 19th floor needed to sign. The man ruined the peaceful bliss of that cool elevator. My red t-shirt was already drenched in sweat.
“God damn it! This is bull shit,” he yelled as his wrinkled split-hoof pushed numerous buttons on the car. I was hoping he was not angry at me and yelling at me because I am, after all, certified “schizophrenic”, diagnosed as such in 2002 and not on medications.
A favorite customer of mine, Terri Tafeen, who works at a real estate company near Baruch College had given me a small tomato this morning. I convinced Terri to plant the tomatoes back in June at her home in that Hamptons. She has been offering me updates on the growth process all summer long. She brought one for me to work today. It was in the company refrigerator and cold as the bastard on the elevator. I ate the fifty-cent piece size fruit on my way uptown. The taste was mesmerizing. It reminded me of my grandmother. I was in such a good mood until I had no choice but to say something to the pig from the 3rd Floor–
“Did you ever consider seeing a shrink? Fucking lunatic?”
The old man had nothing to say, so I continued, “I didn’t see you coming on.”
He failed to say he was sorry, so as he exited the elevator on the third floor, I started sing the Patsy Cline song, “Crazy” as he entered his plush office.
He turned and looked at me with a puzzled glance, as if I were the crazy one.