Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maintenance Man

He slowly pushed the recycling bin on its wheels across the parking lot between two of the school's buildings. There was an entire fleet of like bins lined up on the other side of the parking lot. He pushed his payload into their ranks.

Slowly, almost with the appearance of purpose, he systematically flipped the lids of each bin open and closed as if to take an inventory. Paper, check. Plastic, check. Cardboard, check. More paper, check. He likely reasoned nobody would notice the lack of any work being accomplished unless they stopped to observe him, and surely nobody would stop to observe while they rushed between classes.

Occasionally a student would stroll past and he would nod a friendly hello to them, then move to the next bin and flip the lid open and then closed. One hand drifted to his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Another lid is opened, then closed.

He glanced around as the stream of students slowed to a trickle. It was time. He placed a cigarette in his mouth and made quickly to light it, cupping his hand over the flame to ward off the strong draft between the buildings. He opened another lid, and then closed it.

He continued in this pattern: Open lid, draw from cigarette, close lid, exhale. It continued for a while, yet not likely long enough for him. The cigarette had run it's course. He threw it to the ground, placed his foot on it, and did the twist.

He was triumphant. Nobody had caught on to his ruse. Slowly, he turned and shuffled back into the building.

"Poor guy," I muttered to myself, "he really does think he's invisible."

I took another sip of my tea and turned to walk away from the third story window.

1 comment:

Jamesly said...

very nice.