My friend Bob works as a bouncer on the doors of The Tempest, a great little dive bar on New York’s 8th Avenue. A few days ago, Bob had this utterly jaw dropping story to tell…
A true 8th Avenue tale. Apologies in advance for the use of profanity and one particularly offensive term, but the story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it wasn’t quoted verbatim and uncensored:
It was a typical Friday night at Tempest and the evening had thus far been uneventful. We were expecting a decent crowd to file out of the Knicks game and into the pub, but until the final buzzer sounded in the Garden we would have to settle for the slow but reliable business from the handful of regulars and the odd passerby that stopped into the pub. Hoping to kill some time, I stepped out front for a smoke. Within moments of me lighting the cigarette, an unusual-looking fellow approached me. His clothes were far too big for his body (although his build was anything but frail) and he had a manic look in his eyes that was unmistakably the gaze of someone who wasn’t, as they say, “all together”. Far younger and more spry than the usual derelicts who mill about on 8th Avenue, I kept at an arm’s length as he made eye contact with me.
Reaching into his pocket, he produced a Discman that had to have dated to the mid-1990s.
“But my motherfucking batteries is dead, man! I need to listen to my jams!”
“I’m very sorry, buddy,” I reiterated, “but I don’t have anything for you”.
At this point his glare went from crazed to menacing. His eyes assumed a steely clarity that was unsettling, to say the least.
“Is that how we going to play it, motherfucker?” he snapped, the inflection of his voice rising and becoming noticeably louder. “I just got out of motherfucking Rikers, asshole,” he continued. “Do you know what that means? Do you know what that makes me, motherfucker?!”
I took a step back and squared my shoulders, keeping my arms to my sides but otherwise assuming a fighter’s stance. I fully expected him to attack me at that point. Although his dress made him appear comical at first glance, he was nonetheless powerfully built. Just when I thought he was about to swing, however, he began gesticulating wildly to himself.
“It makes me a faggot!”
I looked at him with an expression of utter bewilderment.
“I got fucked in the ass every day there, and now I’m a faggot! Yeah! I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! Whoooooo!”
He repeated the phrase over and over again, each repetition louder and more enthusiastic than the one that preceded it. As quickly as he had approached, he turned around and began walking away from me into 8th Avenue’s perpetual tangle of traffic. He raised his arms triumphantly above his head and continued to repeat his new mantra:
“I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! Yeah!”
Halfway across the street, he approached an off-duty yellow cab that was sitting in traffic. With one abrupt motion, he grabbed the handle to the driver’s door and swung it open violently. The terrified driver cowered in fear as our hero leaned in and screamed into his ear:
“I’M A FAGGOT!”
Without another word, he calmly walked away from the cab with his arms still raised skyward, sauntering down 30th Street like the heavyweight champion of the world.