He was right in front of me. He had a heavy gold chain with the face of some Asian god around his neck, was balding at the crown of his head but sported longish, slick oily hair up to his neck, peppered with grey. He wore a red polo T-shirt, close fitted to his frame and strung around his neck was some sort of plastic employee tag on his breast pocket, a mini-photo of himself printed on it. He must have been a tour guide, or perhaps a driver. He wasn’t very tall, but despite his apparent age of around 60 he looked somewhat toned and strong, but greasy at the same time. Potentially the type that got into fights if the situation called for it. Grey pants, the typical old-man suit fashion, held up by a belt. I couldn’t remember his shoes. I didn’t look at his feet. But sandals would have been fitting with the look.
I didn’t understand when I first saw. Gold Chains was gargling something in his mouth, and then spat it all into a garbage bin. We were separated by glass window. He was inside the building and I was outside, waiting for a bus. But it’s a garbage bin….not a sink. Why would anyone do that?
Next he took out a small plastic container – I could see there was some liquid, likely water, inside – and started shaking it lightly, like how you would shake a plastic container if you were mixing salad with dressing. Then he opened the container; it had a blue lid. He took out something peach-coloured, flicked it dry, and put it into his mouth. I see now – fake teeth. Once it was firmly plotted on the top of his gums, he took out the second set from the container, flicked it dry again, and plopped that to the bottom of his gums. He put the lid on the container again, shook it to clean it, then took off the blue lid and emptied the liquid into the bin.
I didn’t move. I stood there, watching dumbfounded. I did a mental exercise of taking my phone out of my handbag and video-taping everything as it happened. But 1) my phone battery was gone; 2) I wouldn’t catch it in time and 3) what if he caught me videotaping? Only a glass window separated us – would he come out and beat the crap out of me? I didn’t do anything. I just stood and watched.
Once this exercise was over he left, taking along the plastic container. I approached the glass window so I could get a better look at the aftermath. The silver rim of the garbage bin, about the width of a hand, was dribbled with puddles and droplets of saliva-water. I imagined the soiled, saliva contaminated liquid Gold Chains just dumped into the bin, now resting limply at the bottom of the black plastic garbage bag. Poor cleaning lady. If there were any holes in the plastic bag, she would be doing a lot more work when she collected the trash.
I was staring into the puddles of water and registering what just happened when Gold Chains returned. He brought back the plastic container – now with new liquid – and poured that too into the bin. Then he looked up and saw me looking at him. He quickly looked down again. Then ceremoniously took out a tissue to wipe down the bin’s rim. Leaving the scene like how he found it. Now no one would suspect that at the bottom of the bin was his disgusting, saliva concoction.
To be continued…..go to Part 2.
Featured image credit | Tina Leggio, Creative Commons