Sunday, August 20, 2006

Messenger 58

Went and saw "Messenger 58", a Fringe Festival play about "messengessengering" written and performed by Tony Mendoza, a real life Chicago bike messenger. Most of the dialogue was taken verbatim from conversations he had had and then strung together into a plot with some great song interludes. The whole experience was worth the while just for this exchange.

-So, what do you do in the winter?
-Well, last year I was dating a jewish girl, so I celebrated Hannuka.

The play touched on a lot of the same existential questions most messengers have to deal with. Is this more meaningful than an office job since we're just helping offices do their jobs? Do I hate office work more than I hate getting run off the road and treated like a second-hand citizen? What the hell is it about this job that makes it worth it, and how do I relate to people that don't do this job themselves?

What I did love were the wierdo exchanges that they had. There's one that was so fucked up I have to believe it was true. While waiting for an elevator, this older guy tries to sell him a frog then complains about having to cough up $500 to be in a gang-bang that weekend. Another highlight was a song about riding in the rain that sounded like it was composed over 8 hours of riding in the rain.

It's been a couple of years since I've had to identify myself as R567, but of course I do still make a good portion of my money biking in Manhattan.

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