My dad requested I write a blog on elevators…Pops this one’s for you!
When I’m alone in them, I close my eyes and listen to the beeping. I ascend from floor to floor in this man made contraption, always remarking to myself: “This is nuts! This machine is nuts!” My ears pop occasionally and sometimes I count every floor. Sometimes I don’t.
Now the best kinds of elevators are crowded ones(Yeah Incubus!), the ones where you have the most awkward snippets of conversations with the most unlikely of people. My dad lives on the 15 (Well, technically 14th because there’s no 13th) floor of The Imperial House, a structure built in the 1960’s which in the winter, houses residents mostly over the age of 67. The two elevators in this building are my favorites out of any I’ve ridden.
I love the scenes that play out in these elevators. I love them! The other day this old woman started talking to me about how leather was too tight so she had to wear these fine white gloves. Her hand extended out and I told her I thought they were beautiful gloves. She just tilted her head saying, “What? What?” She couldn’t hear me at all.
Even the tense, awkward elevator rides are so uncomfortable that I can’t help but laugh afterwards. The peculiarity of being in an enclosed space with someone who has no desire or intent to talk to me has this strange humorous appeal. I smile every time.
Now my favorite elevator moment was a mix between the two. My soul sister was in town visiting from the dirty south. Her and I adscended through the Imperial House next to an older lady who refused to talk to us. I asked her how she was doing. Not a word. As we arrived at her destination and she began to inch her way towards the steel doors, April or I said something about Florida. The lady came to life as if we’d given her the secret to eternal youth. “DID YOU SAY FLORIDA??? I LOVE FLORIDA!” By this point she was out of the box and facing us. “My niece and my daughter and my three grand children live in Boynton…” Smack. We never heard the rest of this woman’s salute to The Sunshine State. The elevator interrupted her mid sentence and just like that, we were floors past her and on our way.
This is the beauty in elevators: every single time it’s a unique and ridiculous experience. One that can’t be duplicated. The snippets of conversation may last for only thirty seconds, but these strange moments are the ones we sometimes think about forever.