Uncomfortable. The doorman assistant from the next building. Maybe it’s because of his hopeful or psycho-friendly eyes staring at me all the time whether I am looking back or not. With his eyes craving for mine and my always nice good morning, always feeling nothing but some of the imposition as if I was forced to do.
Maybe the problem is with me. Maybe it’s just the routine, the same people, same staring eyes every day or maybe not, as I do not have a problem and even like my building’s doorman. The doorman assistant has inquiring eyes. It is the kind that terrifies women in some empty street at night and they try to avoid it even during the day. His movement is visible, he looks at us imposing our insincere retribution and we can still feel it as we pass by him, our body is drained by something wicked hidden in his false empathy. A combination of fear, uncertainty and doubt remains within me, as I try to see beyond my instinct, far from the first feeling of something evil surrounding us. At the same time I guarantee with politeness and smiles some safety renewed for the day.
I believe they are father and son. The doorman assistant, his eyes and the old man sitting in an old broken chair besides the building door. His son is always standing there, as if by duty he was supposed to greet the whole street. His blue uniform seems aged by time and cheap soap, almost turning into a gray scale. His sandals give me nausea. It’s a strong sad feeling and his father increases it. He looks at me — or everyone — not to make friends but in a mix of discontent and uncertainty, as if we had to walk there to disturb his life, his permanent position in the old broken chair, his walking stick in one hand and a hunchback pushing him forward into the floor staring direction. Looking down, he only sees the sidewalk, his foot in pale beige socks and brown slippers. One day I said good morning and he got scared. People walk by and don’t see him, as if he was a solid dark heavy rock standing there. I think about giving him a new chair. I have one at home I don’t use and it is better than his, but I don’t want to be a part of his life and have another person to greet uncomfortably every morning.
They are not from here. There is a discrepancy in their appearance contrasting with the locals, but his eyes and white skin color still causes some confusion. If weren’t for the way they talk, one couldn’t say for sure where they came from. But they’re from the north. Northeast, the poorest region in the country.
Twenty years ago they moved south, to a more developed city, to build their future: mother, father and son. Just like other doormen, taxi and bus drivers. His father worked in major constructions around the city. When he retired, used to stood there in his feet, talking about his history to anyone, in this very line between the building entrance and the small harvest store. He missed the passage of days and didn’t realize this is all he would get from his life.
His wife doesn’t exist anymore. She gave up the big harmful city and decided to go back, still had the rest of her family there and she even knew she wouldn’t have a better life or the middle class dream with a house and a barking dog, she would have the minimum for living and no one to bully her accent and lifestyle.
They were just father and son. The school here seemed better to the kid and she didn’t have a thing to give besides the empty promise of a poor future. They wouldn’t ever meet again, the father and his son never came back to the northeast and they knew by letter when someone back there have died. Nowadays the mailman only brings monthly bills.
*That’s an exercise from creative writing course — work in progress. I’m sorry for all the grammar errors. I’m used to write in portuguese. I would love to read your feedback, would help a lot! :)