Being a porter in a building filled with Mexicans has renewed my spirit. Every Monday and Thursday when I take the trash to the curb, I think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and remind myself that the secret to eternal life is learning to serve others.
I don’t mind picking up chicken bones that were ripped from plastic bags by the numerous wild kittens that live among the dozen plastic trash cans outside.
Because it hasn’t snowed much this winter, I have taken it upon myself to sweep in front of the building at 3 p.m. when I know the little Mayan kids and Dominican teenagers are getting home from school. I am being paid nearly $200 a month and I feel my thorough work as a porter is a good lesson to the illegals who sometimes have a nasty attitude when doing such work. White people may be stuck-up in their brown eyes, but we take pride in where we live.
With a dustpan on a stick and a broom I picked from the trash, I canvass the sidewalk as the children come home. “Hola” I say to each of them, and just to make them giggle I say “Holy” as I sweep up every little cigarette butt on the sidewalks surrounding our five story building.
Someone has been tossing Q-Tips from their bathroom window. I have never seen so much wax in my life. Every Monday and every Thursday there are two or three more in the exact same spot outside, stuck to the cement like gum. My stomach churns. I try to ignore what it is I’m doing and simply sweep up the trash, but I would rather wash their stinky little feet.