I’ve begun to take notes on my elevator. What a piece of shi…ning machinery. For reference, I live in a brand-new (albeit incomplete) building, on the ninth floor of the tallest tower. I’m basically a skip and a jump from heaven. Well, hah! I would be if I didn’t live beside the Gates of Hell.
The day I moved in was the day I began to worry. With two suitcases, a backpack, a satchel, a purse, a handbag, a coat, my boots, and two pillows in tow, I jested about “bad luck” when a city-wide power outage meant I had to climb nine flights of stairs. The elevator seemed a dark, mysterious void. Seven months later, it still is.
Every time I pass through its gnashing teeth, I wonder about the wording of my obituary. It will likely headline: “A Fulbrighter So Smart, She Died in an Elevator.” Fingerprints mar its stainless steel surface like the war wounds of souls clawing for the light. I try not to touch anything. Will I, too, fall into the Gates and never return?
Let me list my reasoning. First, the lack of cell phone service. Nothing good in life comes with a taunting No Service. I’ve been trapped in an elevator only once before, but even in a metal box in the Department of Homeland Security in the face of Hurricane Sandy, I had cell signal.
Second, the smells. That elevator smells differently each time I use it, and I’ve theorized that it smells like the last soul it consumed. I made a list:
- Wet laundry
- Fermented apples
- New shoes
- The dentist
It was the final smell that convinced me. There’s no way anything headed to heaven is going to smell like the dentist.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve waited weeks for a blog post, and Emily just rambled on about an elevator.”
Yes. Sorry. It was on my mind.