Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in.
I walked into the Bank of America on 42nd and 5th across the street from Bryant Park yesterday (to validate my assumptions that perhaps my account was overdrawn again, I’m pretty much allocating funds from my budget to the now standard practice of using invisible currency. An overdraft fee is like a kiss from a bank.), and there was a man squatting by the entrance. I figured he was waiting for someone. Boy, was he ever.
About a minute passes, I watch the line of people stuffing envelopes with various denominations and notes and I’ll shoot them glances as if I were privy to the true origin of that money, forcing them to ask themselves “Was it worth it?”, and I’m there to assure them it most certainly wasn’t. So the man stands up, releases a big sigh, and lights a cigarette. The smell of smoke indoors naturally draws attention so it’s all eyes on him at this point. This man, in a moldy, stained sweatsuit gives the crowd a panning glazed once-over and stumbles out the door.
Then it struck. Like The Nothing from The Neverending Story this was a fierce smell sensation. It wasn’t a slow, building stench that slowly lulled you into a catatonic despair. This was a jump kick to the face.
The bankgoers like the animals that they are begin to sniff out the source of this smell. They all zeroed in on the culprit at pretty much the same time. Some made noises, some were frozen. Some fled the scene, others felt compelled to stay.
But the sweatsuited man had left us a present.
A whole poop right in the ATM. This man completely dropped trou on 42nd St. and said, “Oh man. I’m touching cloth. Free Checking.” There was a park across the street, a McDonald’s up a few block. But he wanted to make a deposit to remember (I can’t believe I wait five paragraphs to bust that gem out).
So this ridiculously effeminate man, (I mean like the kind you see in a NBC sitcom: so exaggerated and over-the-top it saves the writers from actually having to flesh out the character, he’s just “the gay character”) turns to me and says, in a really breathy, tinny voice, “Only in New York frickin’ City!” and of course I say something like, “Yeah, of all the ATMs I could have walked into today…”, like I’m motherfucking Jeff Goldblum pondering the cosmos or some shit. And he’s all like, really emphatically, “I know, right? I know, right? Uh huh.” like he was thinking the same thing. Like we connected. Like we had a moment. Then he finished his withdrawal and told me to “take it easy”, like I was hyperventilating and dialing a rape crisis hotline. I reciprocated the suggestion that he also take his day in in a calm, relaxed manner.
I spent the next few minutes pretending to do math on the back of a deposit slip but I was really just watching people’s reactions to the wall of the amorous scent. This one lady scrunched up her face, and stuck her tongue out like she double-dosed on Warheads. Now that was funny.