Thursday, April 23, 2015

There’s always something wrong with one of the four elevators at work, first one and then the other, then the other, then the other, and all over again. One day you’re riding up to whatever floor: 4, 7, 12. Trying to figure out where to stand so as to cause minimal inconvenience. Still having to jostle around when someone in the back of the car has to fucking get out on a lower floor. And all the while, you’re watching that tedious drip of news on the Captivate screen. Feeling ashamed for watching it, but watching it all the same. Captive.

Then the next morning you find hard-hatted workers huddling around the maw where the elevator doors should be. Segregated from the white-collar populace by their makeshift barrier. The top of the car seems to be right there; you can see the pulleys and the cables—or is it the bottom? Or is it the guts of the shaft itself, where something must have gone horribly wrong, got tangled God knows how; something only old-timey union guys might understand? There’s an array of tools on the precipice and a yellowish light in the hole. Tungsten. You see it reflected on the back brick wall.

It’s a wonder we don’t all plummet to our deaths.