This is a bank robbery. Don’t look at me, just keep reading. Don’t stare. I know it’s a weird disguise, but it does the job. People won’t be able to describe me. It’s not like the witnesses are going to tell the cops, “He was made up just like Grover Cleveland.” Wow, almost let the cat out of the bag. Anyway, the guy (or woman!) I’m dressed like is always shown in a bowtie so I had to go to a formal store, and then the salesman sweet-talked me into buying a bunch of shit I don’t need. So I’m counting on a big score here.

I said don’t look at me.

And don’t try anything funny because I have an accomplice with an itchy trigger. (Not literally, it’s just a figure of speech.) See the guy in the line to my right? Sorry, you can look up now. See the guy in the line to my right? No, my right, your left. He’s got a water gun filled with red wine. Stains from that are impossible to get out. Or it could be the line on my left. And maybe it’s a woman. Forget it. Just read the note.

Make it quick, too. I’m in a hurry. There’s no good place outside to lock my mountain bike. The neighborhood meth head is watching it for me, but I don’t know how patient he is.

I hope you’re wearing the hair clip today. I’ve been studying you the last few weeks when I’ve come in here. You look good in the hair clip. Not so much in the scrunchie. And that red sweater. I like the glasses. They make you look intellectual. But you should lose the highlights. You’re definitely pushing 50 if you’re not there already.

Don’t get mad. This is coming from a good place. I want you to find someone and be happy.

Sorry if this skips around a little. I wrote this quickly because I wanted it spontaneous and authentic, not an overly aware, self-conscious rendering of what people expect from a “bank robbery note.” It would probably be more authentic if it were handwritten, but my penmanship is bad. I tried this a few months ago, and the teller called another teller over to see if she can figure out what it says, and meanwhile people behind me in line are starting to sigh and I’m standing there getting red in the face and finally I just said forget it and walked out. So I typed it. In Garamond. (Are you as sick of Helvetica as I am?) This is the last sheet in the printer so there’s no going back.

Anyway, gather up all the $20 bills you can find. The old kind, not the new ugly ones. Unmarked and non-sequestered. It can be as much as $100, $200. Go back into the vault if you have to. Put them in a plain paper bag, not the sack that has $$$ on the side. Yes, I know about that little trick. Cops can spot it a mile away. I read cartoons like everyone else. Except you probably read books, don’t you? With those glasses.

When you hand me the bag, you need to say, “Here’s the sack lunch you accidentally left here yesterday, Mr. Stanicek Doe,” so it doesn’t look suspicious. After I leave, count slowly to 100 before calling for the next customer. Then continue to wait on everyone until your lunch break. Go to the Subway a half-block from here and get a footlong. Probably best if it’s low fat and low sodium. After working the afternoon, go home, drink a half-bottle of merlot and watch The Big Bang Theory.

One final thing. When a sum on the order of $100-$200 goes missing, you can pretty much bet that the Feds will get involved. When they question you—this is VERY IMPORTANT—tell them I was dressed like William Henry Harrison.

Is it okay if I e-mail you? If you don’t want to hang out, that’s cool, but I thought we could go to a reading or something.