It was on Wall Street off the red line. I gave the concierge the fake name that I didn’t know was fake and I think he gave me mail to take up that was listed even under a different fake name.
He was a tall gruff older white man who needed assistance packing things up, cantankerous and on my nerves almost immediately. We got into it briefly because he kept trying to tell me how to put boxes together that I was demonstrating capability in putting together. If he bothers me one more time, I thought for the third time, I’m leaving.
He warmed to me though because of an incident that I forget, but in retrospect demonstrated to him that I had no idea who he was. I think it was the cassettes. I’d gone down with a huge garbage bag and either tripped or misstepped and fell all over the busted garbage bag and nearly 100 identical cassette tapes with a young white musician guy on the cover. Fuck! I thought. When I came back up he was eating a sandwich and wondering what took so long. I thought you got raped or something! He said, and even then I thought it an odd instead of scary thing to say.
I’d been doing another job for a young girl when I recognized something in her conversation with her young musician guy friend. I got excited when they appeared excited that apparently I had worked for a celebrity I’d still never heard of.
The musician guy said something about a documentary, and maybe something about a wife that he ignored, and I’d said that a woman had come out with just a shirt on and no pants. I was high atop the ladder at the bookcase when, I remember, she wandered out, and I think I called for him. She looked up at me pleased to see me, and he looked away from her up at me and said, Aw hell, you’re a woman too, and I agreed that it was nothing I’d never seen.
I’d gone into the room to put some books away, and to help her with the remote, and I remember that she looked kinda frozen, with a lost waxen looking face. I’d seen a commode straight ahead before I turned in the room. She gave me a wedding photograph, of herself I think when they were young, and he’d snatched it away from me, asking where I’d gotten it from, as I had shown him. I told the girl and the musician guy that the bed was dirty too, and they looked as if perhaps I’d said too much; and I was reminded of how when he snatched the photograph away from me, I was still a stranger, an intruder.