Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Doorman's Best Friend: A Thank You Letter

Dear Friend,

I'm just writing to say thank you for what you did for me today:

Thanksgiving has given me lot's to be thankful for, as the holiday tends to lend itself. We sit with our family for a few hours, stuff our faces, watch football. Many of us drink, though I use that day as a recovery from a usually raucous night-before. We count our blessings, whichever ones we're fortunate enough to have, and disappear into a food-enduced coma.

This year, I had all of those things. Hell, even as the last guy in seniority, I actually had the day off. But there was a lot missing. My dignity went out the window even before I became a doorman, so I wasn't concerned about that. What I was missing was my home.

In the days after Sandy hit, I held out hope that everything with my apartment was going to be okay, even as I saw what wreckage it did to the electrical equipment in the building. Now, nearly a month later, I'm still coping with the grim reality that it will be uninhabitable until March, the earliest.

I loved my apartment. For the neighborhood, panty-dropping rooftop view, and the price, it was a once in a lifetime experience. I can come back in March and all of my possessions will still be there, but what the fuck an I supposed to do till then? Right now, I'm staying with my parents, on a couch in the laundry room, because they have a full house with no spare bedroom.

Don't get me wrong- I love my family, and I'm grateful to have a roof over my head. And I'm grateful for them taking me in with no questions asked. But I had built a life for myself, and with one swift "act of God", it's gone. I'm right back to where I started - miserable in my job, living with my parents.

The apartment was what I had to show for my hard work. It made all of these little degrading nuances of being a doorman sting a bit less. I could be more calm and let things roll off my back because I knew I had a nice place to go home to, and it was all mine, and I fucking earned it.

Now what do I have? I'm 28, a failed actor, a doorman, whose personal life is an acid bath, living on Staten Island with Mom and Dad... in the laundry room.

Last night, I had just dozed off to sleep after tossing and turning on the couch for hours, unable to curb my anxiety. My mom had finished a massive load of laundry and piled in on top of the couch, which is perched against the wall. I must have rolled over a little aggressively and shook the couch, and when I did, an avalanche of clothing fell on top of me, from head to toe. 

I immediately started tossing small articles of clothing off my face, till I got to the last one, which happened to be my mom's bra. I rush to get it off, and when I do, the strap gets caught on my ear, and I yank my head into the oscillating fan standing next to the couch. With that, I scream like a lunatic, and begin kicking clothes all over the room. 

Just a short time ago, I was enchanting my friends and women alike with my 52-story rooftop view, proving to them that while I may be a doorman, I refuse to live like one, and there was a glimmer of hope in my future. Now, I'm whipping my family's clothing around the laundry room like the Tasmanian Devil in a full-blown temper tantrum. How the fuck did this happen to me? 

This incident fucks up my night's sleep, and in my depressed state, I stay in bed till it's time to leave for work at 1pm, as I've done every day for the past month. Needless to say, I was fucking cranky today. 

When I first started working this job, I would get into several fights a day. Over time, I learned how to avoid them and let things roll off my back. I also had something at stake, which was to make sure I had money for rent. Now, with little financial responsibility and a big chip on my shoulder, I'm back to getting into screaming matches at the drop of the hat. 

They're not like the usual "hockey fights", which are stupid and harmless arguments that are necessary to protect my money. I'm talking about completely losing control and scaring the shit out of myself. That happened to me today, on three different occasions. The problem was, today, I was dead wrong all three times. I was screaming at people, getting out all of my aggression and making myself look like a fool. My co-workers laughed at me, and people who weren't even around to see these incidents were saying things like "so, I heard you almost killed a SuperShuttle driver for no reason today."

That isn't me. I'm going through a rough time, and people don't seem to see that. They watch like I'm some sort of sideshow, hoping some violence will break out so they have a story to tell when they get home. They want to see something worthy of filming and putting on World Star Hip Hop. They don't see what I'm going through, and they don't see who I really am, nor do they care to. 

I feel terrible about the way I acted today, and I'm embarrassed. People avoided me for most of the night - even my friends who play music in front of the hotel, who are always a welcomed break to chat with. After a couple of hours into my Lonely Road to Midnight, you stopped by for a visit - your first since your long vacation, and made it okay. 

It's been a long time since someone was so eager to see me. 

We did our usual routine - a little dance, if you will. You're stronger than ever. I made small talk with your mom, heard about her recent trip overseas, while you burned that energy from being in the house all day and I worked off my doorman aggression. All the while, you never made me feel guilty for embarrassing myself. 

I could have told you about all the shitty things I did today. All the awful things I said to people, all the cursing and the screaming, all the belittling and displacement, but you wouldn't care. You waited all day, all week, for our little dance. You could care less about all the other petty bullshit. You didn't come to judge, or lay on some unwarranted advice on anger management - you came to say hi to your friend, and that was all I needed. When it was time to leave, you looked back, wanting to stay a little while longer.  If it were up to me, we would hang out all night. 

So I'd just like to thank you for making me feel appreciated for a moment, and for forgiving my buffoonery. Even though our time is brief, I appreciate you stopping by for a visit, and making a doorman feel loved on the very sidewalk that can sometimes be so cruel to him. 



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