As a rule, people avoided him. Whether he was bowling, in line at the ATM, or drunk-dialing his iPhone waiting for the M103 on Houston Street and Avenue A, they steered clear. Bar patrons even ignored him during a drag show at Barracuda.
Over time, he’d developed a “laissez faire” attitude. His mantra was “let it be,” and he’d chant the chorus repeatedly like a koan. He grew a tortoise- like shell, masking his pain. Home alone, he’d put on a wig, sculpt layers of make-up, using centerfold cut-outs for inspiration. He’d croon along with his favorite ballads, performing to cheering fans.
One summer night in 2007 while preparing his routine, CNN leaked the news: a senator was caught in a public bathroom. An idea came to him: what if I try his tactics with a twist?
He decided to give it a whirl in the toilets at Grand Central Station. He stopped by Wigs and Plus on 14th Street where the owner, Sunny, would sell him a cheap hairpiece “for his mother.” Then he’d prop himself in the furthest stall from the door on Sunday morning. Wig in place. Like a parishioner. Or a TV evangelist. Or a congressman.
On the way home, he’d stop at Magnolia’s for a cupcake. “It’s all about service,” he’d say to no-one in particular while he devoured his dessert.