Doormen are like Santa Clause.  They know when you’ve been bad or good, and they know when you’re awake–and shouldn’t be.

A drunk trying to act sober is like a fading Hollywood hottie trying to age gracefully.  It ain’t gonna happen.  Try looking at yourself in the mirror after a few, put on your best church face, and see what I mean.  It’s the eyes.  The eyes always give you away.  And if you’re like me, the red and puffy cheeks.

When you live in a doormanless building, there’s no one there to judge you when you get home.  Nobody there to give you that “You crazy ass drunk” smile, or those eyes that say, “I can smell the filth on your clothes, Whorina.”

I remember those looks when I lived in doorman buildings in New York and Chicago.  I was the straight-laced, preppy do-gooder by day, the thrill-seeking, slutty cocksucker at night.  I smiled and tried to look sober as I arrived alone, or quickly ushered in a trick before the doormen could catch his eye if I arrived with John Doe.

But then you settle down, move into a three-story walk-up, and later to the other side of the world.  My partner and I hadn’t lived in a doorman building together before our move to Hong Kong.  In New York, we lived in Brooklyn, and in Tokyo, our key would open the Star Trek security door.

Here in Hong Kong, it’s back to the knowing glances of doormen.  And while my rug-burn days are over, I still drink and will occasionally come home drunk.  The doormen have also seen my partner and I argue in the lobby, run down in our pajamas after the false alarm, come in with pizza, arrive sweaty from a run, ask to use the golf simulation room (him), ask about the murder on the 27th floor (me), and kiss (I recently learned they can see inside the elevator behind their desk).

During Chinese “Christmas”otherwise known as Chinese New Year, it is we who have to give gifts to them.  Next year, I’ll give them all a bottle of bubbly and say, “Drink this and come see me.”