From the plastic waiting bench inside Krassi’s tiny salon, a favorite morning coffee spot, there is a perfect view of Kolio’s balcony.
On the first floor, his balcony looks onto the convergence of sidewalks of two entries, vhod A and vhod B of block 9. He is front and center.
Every morning Kolio comes to his balcony, parts the fresh white lace curtains, and swings just one of the panels of his glass enclosure inwards. From there, he leans out and lights a cigarette. Resting his arms on the edge, he bends his upper body to situate it over and out of the balcony. He smokes the cigarette slowly, raising and lowering his hand to his mouth at seemingly set intervals.
His hair is always precisely combed, a slight wave with a stiff curl sitting atop on just the one side, and he always smiles, just a bit, as he moves his head back and forth, slowly surveying the action of the two entries. I watch from within the salon, his arm up and down, his head back and forth.
He puts out his cigarette on the metal brackets that once held flowers at the window and lingers for a bit. His mouth widens into a full smile, he nods, and he dips his head back in through the glass panel, assuring the lace curtain is hanging in its proper place, precisely as it was.
He has been here since the beginning.
The browning of his right thumb and index finger suggests this morning routine has been also.