He was the man with the buttoned-up shirt. He was old, with only white hair, or maybe strands of white hair combed back onto his head, just like all the men his age. His eyes were big, but his eyebags were bigger. There were wrinkles that arched in the same movement as his smiles, but I never really did see him smile.
He looked like an old man with dignity, not the kind with the oversized belly and flip flops. There was a certain sophistication and feel to him, like he was more than just another old man. He wore black pants that reached down to his ankles with a belt, like a scholar from the twentieth century. He wore shoes, and he cycled around my estate. I used to see him when his hair wasn't completely white, and I thought he was someone who was learned.
He gave me the feeling of an old grandfather. Not the type that you can't understand or listen to, but the ones that can talk to you in the present language, and share stories. This feeling always sufaces when I see him, even now. Even when he cycled, his back was ramrod straight. That discipline to sit up straight was the point that gave me the impression of 'learned man' I guess.
He was a garbage collector. I would see him in the wee hours of the morning collecting the rubbish left behind in the rubbish bins pushed outside the gates. He would heft up dead branches of trees, and take out the black rubbish bags. Then, he would place them in the green container that never smelled good, and roll it away.
He still was dignified to me. Someone who was a garbarge collector but takes the time to dress appropriately, and cycle a bicycle that was well maintained. He never looked unpresentable, and he took pride in his work.
He was the man with the buttoned up shirt.