November 08, 2004

Ups and Downs

I’ve used elevators at an average of twelve times a day in the last couple of weeks: which makes more elevator rides in fifteen days than in the rest of my life. Back home, the only time I took an elevator was at a mall or a fancy hotel. The staircase is just fine for daily purposes. But here I work and live on the sixth floor, and twelve trips up and down the staircase would spark off an internal race between weight loss and respiratory failure.

So I use the lift. The lifts have iron doors that keep on yelling and screaming like something out of Harry Potter until you close them. And the time difference between the door closing and the lift jolting into action most rudely is about 2 nanoseconds. You have to take a deep breath and close your eyes and be prepared to die as you close the door.

Elevator activity begins at 5:30 in the morning and ends at 12 in the night. All this while, the creaking and groaning of the poor elevator echoes in my unfurnished living room. The office elevator sings out its woes loudly, so that no meeting, phone conversation or any kind of work distracts staff from listening to its complaints.

In my head, I need to put up a warning sign: “Do not open the door to the elevator shaft if the elevator is not on your floor. “ When I am preoccupied, I get out of my house and try to open that door, and would probably plummet down the shaft if the door opened easily. I rarely check to see if the elevator is at my floor. I’m living dangerously.

Anita and her Harsh Tourists have to abdicate in favour of this one. The sign outside my building’s elevator says: “Sterling Elevators. Mr. Hate”. Inside the elevator is a warning message: “Do not stick your hand. You could loose it.” Someone call up Mr Hate to find out where I should not stick my hand. I do not want to loooooose it.

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