That, apparently, describes me.
This morning, a bright and unseasonably warm Thursday in New York, I was walking down 24th Street on my way to work when I was accosted by a man I’ll call “Freak 1.” From the looks of Freak 1’s very natural orange skin tone, I surmised that he’d spent the better part of the week in a spray tan booth. He was sporting a snazzola purple polyester button-down, open to his bellybutton. How generous of him to share his chest with all of Chelsea! Freak 1 had paired the purple polyester button-down with shiny black pants and of course, a ginormous medallion on a heavy chain. His well-groomed and not at all dyed jet black hair resembled that of one Silvio Dante, official consigliare of the Soprano crime family.
Freak 1 appeared to be gainfully employed as a perfume salesman. He was toting a cardboard box packed with such coveted designer fragrances as Channel No. 5, Ralph Lauren Rolo and Mallomar by Guerlain.
As he jumped in front of me and shoved the box in my face, he instructed me to try some perfume today. Having already sprayed some lovely, aromatic and AUTHENTIC Pink Jasmine by Fresh just 45 minutes earlier, I really didn’t feel it was necessary, so I declined politely.
Freak 1 was insistent. “Come on! Try a spritz. You’ll love it!”
I looked straight ahead and ignored him as I continued down the block. As I neared my office building, I heard him yelling, “Fine! Keep stinking, bitch! It’d kill ya to smell good for a change?!”
Naturally, this prompted me to sniff my pits just to make sure he was an irrational nut job. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was being watched by Freak 2, who was waiting for the elevator. Freak 2 was wearing carpenter jeans that sat on his knees instead of his waist, a quintuple XL Giants t-shirt, work boots, and, it was clear to see, navy blue boxer briefs.
“Nice day tuh-day, huh?”
I nodded, not wanting to engage him and still worrying that perhaps I reeked a smidge.
“Ya gotta love dis weath-uh,” he said as he stepped into the elevator and pressed the Floor 3 button.
“Oh silly me. I woik on duh fiff floo-uh. Guess ya gotta spend suh moo-uh time wit me.”
I hit the 7 button and tried to appear pleasant but not at all interested in conversing.
He moved closer to me, invading my personal space.
“Ya know wuh? You got boo-tee-ful eyes.”
I thanked him.
“Can I touch ’em?”
Naturally my first thought was not, “What a sick fuck” but rather “THAT IS SO GERMY! WHO KNOWS WHAT KIND OF RHINOVIRUS HE’S CARRYING ON HIS GRIMY, PERVY PAWS?”
I wasn’t sure how to respond to a question like that, so I simply said, “I’d reeeeally rather you didn’t.”
Safely at my desk, feeling violated and smelly, I wrung my hands with Purell and tried to kill the freak molecules. Now, I feel violated, smelly, sticky and 62 percent ethyl alcohol.