Yesterday, May 9th, I wrote about a man I called the Mayor of my building’s lobby, the senior dandy of 520 8th Avenue. I lamented that I haven’t seen him of late, because I arrive at work 45 minutes later than in the past. I didn’t know the man, but I was charmed by his presence and took a sidelong glance, drawing comfort whenever he was there.
Happiness, this just in: the Mayor, I swear, has assigned a deputy! In the Mayor’s very chair, for the last week or so, at my new arrival time, no less, there sits another slouching, smiling, confident gentleman. He’s a generation younger, closer to my age. He’s also taller and wears standard work clothes, meaning no hat, nothing pressed, no feather, for God’s sake. I’m not sold on his brand of enthusiasm, but it’s clear it’s made him more of a social butterfly than the Mayor. He’s approachable and the other men joke with him, they engage in lively conversation. Noticeably missing, however, is a coffee and roll, very unlike the Mayor. The Deputy has no need for meals, no reason to pause, which is what any cup of tea demands. The Deputy is in the lobby for a brief period. His uses the lobby as it was intended, not to take in the sights.
I can’t say I like the Deputy, or that I have any intention to say hello, but that’s as it should be. The Deputy does the dirty work, he pushes the papers, he gives direction to staff. The Mayor is the mayor.