Friday, August 22, 2008

My Little Gift

It's weird living in an apartment building again. It's a big building with over twenty floors. There are more people living in that building than lived in Baxter, the small town we moved from. What's weird though, is that you never really see anyone. We've met the neighbour across the hall, Tess, but only because she purposely introduced herself. We've not even seen anyone on our side of the elevator. So the other morning when we were getting on the lift and heard a fellow from the other side come out of his apartment, we held the door waiting for him.

A trim, faintly handsome man, got on the elevator. We said 'Good morning,' he didn't. Well, that's OK, not everyone is a morning person. Joe goes down to get the car and I get off in the lobby and head out to meet him. This means I rely on someone to open the lobby door and then the front door. I pushed out of the elevator and our neighbour rushed by. I asked him if he could hold the door for me. He bristled. Actually bristled. But he held the door.

I went through and said 'Thankyou' ... then he rushed through the front door without holding it and without a look back. OK then. Someone else came along and held the door and I was out and rolling down to the street to meet Joe. As I rolled I tried to process his attitude, his reaction to me. He was icy cold. He was hostile. He was definately unfriendly. Was I being paranoid or was he truly hateful.

Two mornings later, we were back at the elevator, again we held the door when he came out of his apartment. Joe waited for him and then we heard the faint click of the door at the end of the hallway. He'd taken the stairs.


I've seen him a few times since. He won't look me in the eye. He's a physical fitness buff and can be seen coming in after a jog or going out on roller blades. I'm not sure if it's my weight or my disability but something about me disgusts him.

Well, at least it's a reciprocal relationship.

Because something about him certainly disgusts me.

But I wonder to myself, what does it profit him - this belief in his superiority, this idea that he is worthy and others are not, this notion that worth is seen not discovered. What does it profit him to live his life in such a manner that he can willingly and purposefully exclude others? I have noticed that others, even nice looking regular people avoid his gaze and step out of his way.

What does he get from this?

Well right now he gets this ...


wendy said...

Lets all "salute" the nasty man, shall we...and others of his ilk!

Liz Miller said...

What a douchebag! I'm sorry you have that schmuck living in your building.

Anonymous said...

I tell myself that it is insecurity about themselves which leads to people being so judgemental about others. I am also overweight and my mental health disability isn't obvious, but I am also used to being the recipient of such hostility or avoidance. I used to give the finger to people like this as well (literally and/or figuratively), but now I just pray for them because I view people with such attitudes as having a much more significant disability than what I have.

Anonymous said...

He who takes offense when none is intended is a fool. He who takes offense when it is intended is usually also a fool. I'm so sorry you choose to take offense.

Susan said...

I used to be that guy.

That's how I know there's hope for him.

I am looking forward to the day when you tell the story about how much that guy has changed.

Shan said...

It's too bad he lives so close to you - if he were on another floor it wouldn't matter so much.

Stephen said...

Anonymous 2, what an unpleasant comment. Taking offense when people are offensive is actually quite appropriate, if we simply shrug our shoulders to offensive people all the time then intolerance of all sorts will never dissapear. Calling people fools is one of those kinds of unpleasant itolerance. From Dave's description this guy is being deliberately rude, it is not foolish to feel offended and wish to challenge this. I agree with Susan also though that such ignorance is usually a sign of insecurity and a degree of sadness, and there is always hope that people can change those attitudes,impriving their own life as well as that of others.

Kei said...

How terribly rude! The first time could have been passed off as the guy having a bad night or rough morning. But the avoidance after that? Yeah, Eff him.

Seems like you're not the only one put off by his negative vibes.