Awkward silence in the elevator

stranger in elevator

stranger in elevator

You are in an elevator.  There is only one person in there.  You are now stuck.

The doors close. You start looking above at the floor numbers from the main lobby through the 24th floor.  You are saying to yourself’ “My gosh, will this ever end?”  Not soon enough.

I got it!  I have an iPhone!  Let me take it out and look at it.  Maybe press a few  buttons, read intensely as if there is something urgent taking away your attention.  Anything but looking at the other stranger one foot away from you.

And how dare that stranger be joining you for the ride.  Clearly you went in first, and then the doors started to close, causing that exhale of breath that you are going sole, until……THE HAND APPEARS.

At that point, you are rooting for the doors to win the battle.  You are thinking,”maybe this door won’t be so forgiving.” Just maybe the door will continue to close, not sensing that obnoxious arm trying to intrude on your 30 seconds of privacy.  Maybe, just maybe, it will continue to close to the full shut position, catching the hand in the door crack. Now that is obviously the best one can hope for.

Notwithstanding the hopes and prayers of a solo ride, there are more circumstances that you will be stuck with someone.  So the ride is awkward, and then you need to think about your exit.

Who came in first?  Well, I did!  Don’t I have the right to leave the elevator first?  What happens if the intruder (the second nervy person slipping inside) is a female?  Do we need to always let the female out first?  This is the 21st century! Women insist on equal pay and equal rights.  So, a unitarian world would mean that the man should also be afforded the same privileges.  I say first one in, first one out.  This is not like jumping off the Titanic to save women, children, the elderly and the affirmed.  I am simply going to see my friend Mike.

As we both have the same misfortune of getting out on the 24th floor  – and calculating the odds in your mind that she is also seeing her friend –  we both continue to walk the hall.  This is the time that post talk comes in.  So, you pick up the phone and either really call or pretend to call someone…anyone?  It could be the pizza delivery man for all I care. That is not important.  What is important is that you have a conversation to end this awkward journey which started in the lobby.

Ah, the comfort of this distraction.  You can actually feel your heart beat getting back to the familiar and normal for your weight and age to 60 beats per minute.  It’s a sign a tranquility.  You are now back in a world which seems familiar.  The person who rode the elevator with you is back to the ‘nothing person’ she always was.  You are now with ‘your important’ circle of multiple friends; the iPhone was worth $999.00.  Life seems better now.

The next time I take another elevator ride, I am going to treat it like a roadway.  I will look both ways, and then I will get in as long as the coast is clear.

Oh…one more thing to screw with your head? What happens if the elevator gets stuck in between floors?  You can either surrender, own the situation and talk to the stranger, or start badgering the stranger for making you feel more uncomfortable by insisting on putting their hand out while the door was closing.  We all know that was probably the cause of the elevator stopping.

Elevators are like people, they get confused easily.  The elevator probably is acting out, not able to enjoy the normalcy of an uneventful ascent.  Why could its doors simply close in the way it should, not abruptly moving back and forth because this nitwit could not wait the 30 seconds to catch the next one?

The elevator always has the final say.

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