“Kind Sir. I apologize for disturbing your peace with such trivial matters… Yet the screws which fasten my toilet seat neither screw nor unscrew themselves for that matter and have an uncanny tendency to wander about aimlessly in circles, like the most peculiar of merry-go-rounds. This curious reality baffles and perplexes me to no end and is a tremendous source of psychological discomfort. An imminent solution is required if you would be so kind as to offer one… provided this matter falls within the realm of your expertise.”
It was four in the morning. What that nut job was still doing up was beyond me. Why he chose this particular time of day to fix his toilet seat defied any rational explanation.
Atticus was an extravagant character, to put it mildly. He had the good fortune of being born amidst a tremendous one, silver spoon and all, granting him several advantages in life which apparently included attempts at fixing toilet seats in the wee small hours of the morning and messaging me dubious prose at the first sign of an obstacle.
Christened after the famed Harper Lee lead, I suppose that Atticus’ parents had far nobler aspirations for him than what he was currently amounting to.
Profession: champagne socialist meets Louis Roederer socialite.
Marital status: recluse bordering on it’s complicated.
Hobbies: fixing toilet seats at four in the morning; futile attempts at wordiness; walking his Persian cat, Miss Fifi, to Dominique Ansel’s for a Perfect Little Egg Sandwich and a single pastry chosen in accordance with mood, weather, planetary alignments, and the fashionable deity of the moment; decorating, redecorating, and re-re-redecorating his posh SoHo flat.
Favorite restaurant: any three-star that would tolerate Miss Fifi and comply with a feline ten to twelve course tasting menu. Brownie points for free-range, grass-fed, and/or organic.
Favorite artist: Cai Guo-Qiang, whose bold and visionary artwork adorned Atticus’ apartment and who would sporadically join him for a duel of go and the absolute finest cup of Pu’er available to mankind.
Personality type: blasé, aloof, puerile, scattered, and mildly sardonic on a good day. And extravagant. Did I mention extravagant?
“It’s because they attach underneath to a nut that can also spin if ever it comes loose. The nut needs to be held as well. Hopefully, it’s under the rim.”
“That’s what she said.”
How Atticus manages to prevail (dare I say thrive?) in one of the most cut-throat cities in the world, let alone simply dress and feed himself three times a day, dumbfounds me. This having been said, I greatly envied his carefree, shall I say careless, attitude towards life, awarded in large part by the luxury of not having to worry about such earthly endeavors as earning a living or paying rent.
So while I was still up at four in the morning, pulling an all-nighter on my ThinkBook to meet a client deadline, depleted and irritated beyond repair, caffeine having long lost any chance of remediating the situation, Atticus was hard at work steadfastly tackling home improvements of the utmost importance, with the fervent vigor of Tony Robbins coupled with the enterprising spirit of Elon Musk, while even finding time for hasty attempts at ribaldry. God bless his soul.
How our paths had ever crossed could only be explained by an act of God with an improbability factor of eight million, seven hundred and sixty-seven thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight to one against.
It all started last autumn in New York, that exquisitely precious time of year where Central Park’s robe turns to a shade of crimson with hues of marigold, bringing about fall fashion, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and all the glamour and nostalgia depicted in the Billie Holiday rendition of the song. I was leaving lunch at Le Bernadin following a failed attempt at enamoring a potential client which had left me salty, possibly saltier than the Golden Imperial Caviar at a supplemental charge of $155 per ounce. I was in a rush, as always, because, you know, New York.
To be continued. Maybe…