Wrong On So Many Levels

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:

  • Cigarettes
  • Vinegar
  • Wet laundry
  • Tuna
  • Crayons
  • Fermented apples
  • New shoes
  • Balloons
  • Cologne
  • 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.



2 thoughts on “Wrong On So Many Levels

  1. What? No soothingly irritating, easy listening, cover song rendition of a metal band elevator music? You are in the nether world!

  2. Ha ha. I must tell you the “gates of hell” are in more than one location. Last month Aunt Paula was on a cruise ship just entering the Panama Canal. She walks into the gnashing teeth and the door tries to close on her arm. She raised her arm to stop the door and it lunged at her a couple times. She went to see the ships Doctor, the exray machine was on the fritz so she declared it was not broken. It continued to hurt her so when she got home she went in it was broken in one spot and chipped and another. Beware of the gnashing teeth.


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