I live in a building which has a doorman. Yes, I know, it sounds fancy, right? And by Mexico standards, it is quite a fancy building. It’s in quite a fancy area. Although, the problem with living in a fancy area is it’s kinda boring, and full of rich people with fancy cars who seem to think that having a fancy car trumps any consideration one would normally afford a pedestrian: my car is fancy, so fuck you and your halfway-across-the-pedestrian-crossing ways. By London or even Berlin standards, though, my rent is pretty cheap. It’s quite nice to live in a building with a doorman. If I’m out and the UPS guy comes: no problem, the doorman’s got it. If I am carrying a few bags of groceries, there’s the doorman to open it for me. There are two doormen. They seem to work 24 hour shifts, which must suck. One of them is pretty friendly. Always says good morning, or good evening. He sometimes watches movies on a portable DVD player, he sometimes has an acoustic guitar with him. And if I come home late at night, he’ll often sneakily ask if I have a spare cigarette. Luckily, I always have a pouch of spare cigarettes for moments like that. The other one — and I bet you saw this coming, because I’m nothing if not predictable in the set-ups for a rant — is a dick.
He never smiles, never says anything when I say good morning. I made a pact with myself to stop saying thank you when he opens the door. I kept that up for about three weeks. Then I came home drunk and said thank you. He was still silent, so when, a couple of weeks back, we had two new doormen, I was quite pleased. These new guys were different. The old ones wore suits and yellow ties. The new ones have white shorts with patches, and black trousers tucked into big black boots. There has been a military coup of our building. The politicians are out, the comandantes are in. And they say hello, and call me “señor.” But I know that deep down in my fantasy, one day I will be slaughtered in my sleep when the rest of the army arrives.