This past week I had a brief elevator conversation with Mr. O, a porter who works in my building. Among the things he does are empty our recycling, assemble our garbage, and sweep and mop the floors. He is unfailing cheerful and helpful. I once paid him a mere $20 to get rid of my futon couch to make way for the delivery of a real couch. Before he was a porter, Mr. O worked 8 hour shifts at our front desk as a member of a cadre of friendly men who provide ’24 hour security’ that real estate ads for our building boast of.
That morning, I was heading out @ 7.45am to meet a friend who was swinging by in her car to pick up a bike rack of hers that I had kept in my apartment for far too long. Mr O. was just coming in from his ride deep in Brooklyn as I was stepping out of the elevator.
I’m not sure why I asked him how long his commute was but since it was early, I felt prompted to inquire. He told me 2 hours – one way! (That means he leaves his home at 5.45 – yikes.) And then I asked him how long he’d been coming from Brooklyn to northern Manhattan and back again and he said 18 years! I almost fell over.
If that isn’t a mark of one who is faithful, I don’t know what is.