No one knows why the frown. Each morning going down in the elevator. Never even a grumpy utterance of, “good morning,” to acknowledge my nod. Once she held the elevator door to keep it from closing before I’d a chance to lock my apartment door. Who knows why she frowns? She turns right as I go left away from Lake Michigan.
I’ve wanted to ask her to borrow her vacuum cleaner. I’ve wanted to ask her to borrow sugar, tea. Perhaps soup on a cold day. “Would you like to have a bowl with me?” In the tiny corner furthest door from the fire escape at the other end. Watch her lock her door after having spoken through the door. She didn’t say, “what do you want?” or any other gruff greeting. She said a haughty, “hello,” through her door of a light wood. The nicer and newer door of all the other doors of black wood. It is because of that she revealed that she has the frown. Everyday the little Asian man who works in the building, windexing the mirror in the elevator. The mirrors in the foyer and they windows on the doors. Sweeping the foyer and toting the sucking machine that sucks out the muck in the clogged drains. Face mask and gloves. The same black shirt each day. Waiting for any moment to bother her about the door but the last two days he’s left her alone. I have been in the elevator with her at the same time. And she hustles away to the right and I to the left.