The Elevator

I am a simple man with simple tastes.

Sure, I like a little digital vengeance from time to time, but I ask you, who doesn’t? And I know that sure, maybe just sometimes, I won’t let that little old lady in the 1972 lime greed Caddie cut into my lane. That’s a little hard, I agree. And I enjoy a good game of let’s humiliate you, mainly because you are a jackass. But I ask you, don’t we all enjoy a good game of that on occasion?

It doesn’t have to be this way though. We could all decide to sit back, grab a beer, and just let people be people. We could not, say, do something to each and every random stranger that happens to cross our paths. Because it does indeed feel like that lately, I am that stranger that you are doing it to.

Today I got on the elevator at work. I held the door open for some person that I didn’t know. I was being a nice guy. Honestly, that is more who I am in daily life. I’m the guy that will hold the door of the elevator open for you if I see you coming. I’m the guy that will let you borrow my tools.

Once I was working at a gas station at 9 at night. I was alone and a single mom came in. Well, I don’t know if she was single, but she was hot and had 2 kids in tow. One was an infant. She grabbed a gallon of milk and went to pay for it. Unfortunately, her credit card did not go through. I could see she was at her wits end. So I told her to go ahead and take the milk and not to worry about it. I know that it made her day to not have to deal with it and she had two kids, what would you do? That’s the kind of guy that I am.

But I think that the ride on the elevator today with mystery woman might be changing that. And it makes me a little sad.

I asked the nice mystery lady to hit the button to my floor, which is two floors above her own. I don’t work at the same company she does so I didn’t really talk to her either. This was fine with her as she just kept on talking to someone on her cell phone. It would appear, and I’m not trying to invade her privacy here, that her husband cut off his finger last night. Seriously, that was the conversation. Luckily, they were able to sew it back on so that he would not lose it but it remains to be seen the amount of use he will have of it.

I hope old Chuck comes through because now I feel like part of his life. I should send him my blog to cheer him up. It bothers me only a little bit that people talk on their cell phones in elevators. I am usually ok with it, but believe me, I have no choice but to listen to what you are saying. And if you have that hidden earpiece behind your hair, I’m thinking you are talking to me. So when you ask what do I want for dinner, I’m going to tell a Steak please, as long as you are buying. Don’t look at me like I just raped your privacy.

But I am ok with this and usually have a good laugh about it. I was thinking about good old one finger Chuck when the door opened and the mystery lady stepped out. I hope it all works out. The doors closed. That’s when it hit me.

There was the most god awful stink that almost immediately permeated the entire elevator. It stung my eyes, I could taste it in my mouth. I could feel the stink, that’s how bad it was.

It would appear, and I’m only guessing here, that mystery lady cut lose right when she was getting off the elevator. And now I have been stranded in the stink zone. There was no way out, there was no fresh air, there was no hope of any redemption.

That’s what I think has soured me on people. Why would she do this to me, a complete stranger? A complete stranger that was nice enough to actually hold the elevator for her? A complete stranger that is rooting for 9 finger Frodo as much as she is? Why I ask you, Why?

Maybe I’m being harsh here. Maybe she has some stomach problems this morning and it just slipped out. I, of all people, can understand that. Maybe she thought that she could just squeeze out a non-stinky and be done with it. I hope that is the case, but somehow, and maybe it is because I am an emotional wreck the closer my second kid gets, I get the feeling that this was an intentional gas bomb and that she just didn’t care who was in the elevator because she was getting out.

I have myself left the occasional poo stink on the elevator, but only when I’m alone. I have never done it while people are in the death box with me. I try to be considerate, at least most of the time.

And I know the mystery lady knows what she did and perhaps is calling careless Chuck right now laughing about it. None of this really makes me mad, just disappointed in humanity. I know, such a simple thing, probably out of her control, and I’m ready to write off all of humanity.

This is the type of thing that makes me want to move out of the city. There just seems to be no consideration from anybody for anybody. And I know that I am guilty of this as well. When did we all become so dead inside that making someone else miserable was the only thing that brightened our day. I would totally be a hermit now, living in the hills and enjoying my own stink instead of someone else’s.

I wish this was the end of this blog. I wish that I could say the story ends right here and that I got off the elevator and found a reason to believe in the niceness of people again. But it isn’t and I can’t.

The doors to the elevator opened on my floor. Standing there were two of the IT guys.

I didn’t warn them about what lay inside. I didn’t try to explain what happened. Instead, I held the “open door” button and ushered them right in side, welcome to the 9th circle my friends. And then I got the hell out of there because I know that they think that it was me. And here I am laughing about it so much that I thought it deserved it’s own blog.

Sometimes I wonder how long that stink floated around in there, what’s the half life of methane? And am I any nicer for doing what I did? And how many people did they let on the elevator after me? It’s a chain reaction of being shitty to people. Seriously, we all need to knock this off.

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