I met a man this weekend. His name was Mark. He was the bouncer of a place called Beauty Bar. When we walked up, I had been just a bit irritable, due to our wandering around Manhattan on an empty stomach. I liked him from the moment I saw him. He was standing there, with no front teeth, making himself a bracelet out of black nylon chord, practicing his knots.
Naturally, I complimented him on this decorative endeavor. I feel strongly for bouncers and anyone, for that matter, that has a job that makes people automatically dislike them. Mark offered to make me a bracelet. So we stood there, outside the hipster bar, with some here-today-gone-tomorrow band blasting full volume, and shitty martinis being gulped by the thick pasty red lips of party girls, waiting for about ten minuets for Mark to make me a bracelet.
"Thats a nice braid."
"It's not a braid, its a half-hitch."
"Oh. That's a nice half-hitch."
"No, it's not. But that's all your gonna get."
"Oh . . . Thanks Mark."
"Did you know that when someone ties a friendship bracelet on you and you make a wish, when the bracelet falls off, the wish comes true?"
"Sounds like a bunch of crap."
I made a wish. It was a bunch of crap. I liked when he talked. His top lip hovered over where his front four teeth might have gone. It wiggled a bit, like a horses mouth. He didn't look right at you. I think one of his eyes was crooked. He looked around you, while staring right at you. It was alarming, really. He was incredibly tall, with skinny legs and arms and a big gut. He was a beautiful creature, that Mark.
"You can learn to make knots."
"Buy Ashley's Book of Knots."
"Do you have the book memorized?"
"No, its over 2000 knots. It took Ashley 20 years to write it."
"Oh. Do you know a lot of them?"
Yes, indeed, this is Mark's craftsmanship.