Monday, October 12, 2009

Eleven, please.

One of the things I've had to get used to over the last few months is the daily ride in the elevator. I've never been a big elevator fan. When staying in hotels, I've been known to drag my suitcase up four floors (and not just at the hotel in Italy where that was the only option) to avoid being enclosed in a metal box and suspended within a shaft of unknown depth. I suspect that this senseless aversion has its origins in memories of my five-year-old self sneaking out of bed to watch TV and seeing one of the chicks on L.A. Law fall down an elevator shaft. That really freaked me out.
Now, I need the elevator to get to my office, to get to the building break room, to get to the rest rooms, and to come back down to earth in the evening. Thank goodness, I've gotten used to it and no longer experience any sort of apprehension.

I have noticed, however, that people act differently in elevators. There are the people who engage total strangers in conversation. There are people who look everywhere but at the other person in the elevator (kinda hard since the walls are mirrors.... ). There are the people who smile tentatively at their fellow passengers and then act really interested in their purse or cuffs. Then, there's the blonde from the 7th floor who acts like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, minus the hoodie. She steps on with quick, mechanical steps, keeps her head down, and heads directly for the corner. She stands there, impervious to the conversation around her until the doors open again and she can make her escape. Despite getting to work at approximately the same time and riding seven floors together almost every morning, I've never seen her face. Just her hair. Lots of permed, bleached, crunchy-sprayed hair.

When things feel particularly awkward in the elevator (and whenever Miss 7th Floor steps on), I just think of this and everything seems a little cozier.

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