Friday, 8 February 2013


There is a man at my apartment building.  He says hello most mornings, averting the pattering hose, opening the door and waiting for a chance to chat. His mouth is at the ready to resume a conversation already begun.   

Sometimes I see him at the rubbish bin, genially approving of my flipping of cardboard into the large woolsack meant for CARDBOARD ONLY.  He chortles when I tip the rest of the recycling into a giant pile of glass and tin. 

He floats around the complex, spindly legs whirring and propelling his large motor around from point A to point B and back again.  He is in charge.  I think he likes it; but I bet he wishes we had more time for talk. 

My smalltalk is very small.  Rain?  Norain?  Sometimes it fails altogether, though I can always muster a smileandnod for the man at my apartment building.  I wonder what he takes care of that I don’t know about.  Is he secretly watering my rubber plant?  It seems unlikely.  Its leaves are sooty with exhaust.  Does he keep an eye on that window I leave ajar so that fresh air wends its way into my apartment and infiltrates the bedsheets?  He might; none of the cats have ever managed to get in, as far as I’m aware. 

I wonder if he speaks to Oscar, Burmese Prince of All He Surveys in our building?  I talk to Oscar more than the man at my apartment building.  Somehow its easier; Oscar does not care for my attention.  I am drawn to that which is not given lightly.  I am a clich√©. 

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