Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Elevator Thinking

I thought maybe I'd regale you with my thoughts as I sat stuck in an elevator by myself for an hour one morning a couple of years ago. We had recently moved our office to the building we're in now, which is about one mile from our former building. I really loved our former building, because it had a little locker room in the bathroom, and I was pretty much the only person who ever used it. So one morning, I had just come from the gym and I decided that I would go to the old building and shower there, sharing the space with no one, rather than showering at the NEW building, where there were always other people. It sounded like the perfect plan. Until I got stuck in the elevator. Yes, on my way up to the 4th floor, the elevator just stopped. Ah yes, a smashing start to a Monday.

After I decided that abject panic and/or crying was not going to do any good, I rang the emergency elevator bell. Not without reluctance, because while I very much enjoy the spotlight, I would prefer it to be in a situation that isn’t embarrassing as all hell and also where I don’t look like something the cat dragged in. More on that later. "Help!" I said. "I'm stuck in the elevator!" Distant voices drifted down to me as the people who heard me sad that help was on the way. Super.

So I sat down, and I'm thinking to myself "Ok, what if the cable breaks and the elevator free falls to the bottom of the shaft??? What if there's sparks and it ignites and I'm trapped??? Oh wait, I'm in between the ground floor and the second floor, so I'm probably out of danger. Though I do bruise rather easily. Even so, I haven't heard a lot about those falling-half-a-floor elevator casualties, so I think I can breathe easy. Breathe easy?? Oh my god, is it me, or is the air getting thin in here? What if the elevator guy takes so long to get here that I suffocate because I only have this little box of air? I mean, how long can you go with only the air that is in this elevator RIGHT NOW -- oh yeah, and the air that I also noticed coming through the crack in the doors. Hmmm. I guess I'm doing ok in the oxygen department. I mean, if all else fails, I can put my mouth up to the door crack and breathe that way. Though that might look a little strange when whoever comes to rescue me gets here – ‘why no, I was NOT french kissing the elevator doors, I was simply trying to get some fresh air.’ Really, this situation just gets more and more humiliating by the minute.”

More thinking. “Ok, so if someone comes through the roof to rescue me, will he let me bring my boots? Those are my favorite boots. I guess I could put them on and leave behind my running shoes, but then again, those shoes were over $100. Oh wait. The elevator will eventually get fixed, whether I'm in it or not, so I think no matter what, I would get to keep both pairs of shoes. So what if the guy who comes to rescue me is like Mr. July in the firefighter calendar? That would be awesome. Wait, no, I haven't taken a shower yet and I just went running. And I slept on my hair funny and my mascara is at the bottom of my gym bag and I forgot to bring lip stuff. Plus, it's pretty dark. I don't know how it would turn out if I tried to apply any sort of makeup in this lighting. Probably not good. Not good at all. Here’s hoping for ugly and/or old and/or married firefighters. Or maybe one hot one who is enthralled by my natural beauty. Hmmm. No -- better stick to ugly/old/married.”

“Why oh why did I think this would be a good idea. This is what I get for being all high-maintenance and in the two years we were here before we moved our office, I've never talked to anyone else on the other floors of this building, and yet now they're all trying to be encouraging -- "hang in there!" and "you're ok!" Not to split hairs here, because I appreciate them not just leaving me here alone, but a) how do you KNOW I'm ok -- what if I had some horrible heart condition or I'm abnormally claustrophobic? I would be decidedly NOT ok if that were the case. And b) Hang in there? Really? Now I’m thinking of that poster of the cat hanging from the tree branch, and I’ve realized that my plight has been reduced to a punch line from a 1970s-era “humor” poster.”

“I wish my cell phone worked, because I’m getting pretty bored in here. Plus, I need to call work and explain to them why not only am I going to be late, but also why I’m going to have to be even later because I still have to take a shower. I’m thinking my boss is going to sigh and roll her eyes when she hears my excuse. Like a couple of weeks ago when I called to say I’d be late because I got lost on the way to the office. That’s right – lost. Granted, our office is in a new place, but it’s practically in the backyard of the old office that I’ve been coming to every day for the past TWO YEARS. And I got lost. See, what happened was I thought I’d miss this one traffic backup and take a detour, only it wasn’t as much of a straight shot as I thought, and well, I drove around for a while until finally I was like ‘AH HA! I know where I am now.’ I was like an hour late. I think everyone just smiles, shakes their head and says ‘it could only happen to Amber.’”

“Ok so what if I have to climb out of the elevator through the roof? And what if while I'm doing that (ever so gracefully, I’m sure), I fall? The paramedics would have to come and again, I hate calling attention to myself for stupid stuff. I swear, going to the gym today has just totally worked me over. Speaking of being worked over, remember in 'Silence of the Lambs' when Hannibal Lecter kills that guy and takes his face and puts his dead body on the roof of the elevator? Oh my god, what if the guy who comes through the roof is a psychotic killer who loves that movie? What if this isn't just an ordinary power outage? What if this is like some sort of plot concocted by someone who loves action and/or horror and/or psychological thriller-type movies involving elevator mishaps? Crap. I'd be screwed then.”

“Hey -- is this thing moving?”

23 comments:

Chief Slacker said...

See now, I would have just sat down and taken a nap. hehe :O)

Edge said...

You really thought about all of that?

I got a kick out of the cat poster from the 70's I can see it in my mind now!

~Jef

Karen said...

I think I would have been not only scarred for life from riding in elevators, but also from going to the gym. Yet one more reason not go to to the gym, I could get stuck in an elevator:)

Jill said...

Wow, it's like we're twins who were separated at birth! Not that I've ever been stuck in an elevator...but if I ever were to be...my brain would do the same thing.

Stephanie said...

Amber- you're a friggin' riot!

AFGUY said...

Thank god you werent stuck in the elevator with someone smelled or someone who had a serious gastro problem

Kendra said...

I'm really disappointed in the fact that you didn't make any "Speed" references. Talk about a fantastic elevator scene! Hey wanna come over tonight to watch that and order pizza? There are no elevators at my house. Think about it and let me know...

Hope said...

Hilarious. This totally reminded me of the letters my friend in Florida sends me, just her train of thought, and it cracks me up every time.

As for getting lost on your way to work, um... I got lost on my way HOME from work like a month ago. On my way home from a job I've gone to everyday for over a year. And I don't have any detours to blame, I just missed my exit, so I got off at the next exit, then I missed the street I needed to turn down, then I ended up in a shady neighborhood and Jeff called all, "Where are you?" and I had to tell him I was lost. Sorry to ramble, I just had to empathize.

And I agree, that you were kind of lucky to have been trapped by yourself, because I've been trapped with several other people, all squished in there = not fun. Granted it wasn't for an hour, but still...

dasi said...

Scary how the brain works, isn’t it? At least, scary how YOUR brain works…! although I have no doubt my brain would’ve been filled with similar random thoughts had I ever been stuck in an elevator!

Romeo Jensen said...

Mister Hawtie July Firefighter would gladly... GLADLY... crawl through flaming snot to help such a gorgeous... un-ummmm-kempt "10" like you

wow this comment box is small... is it me or does the air seem thin in here???

*french kisses comment box*

Romeo Jensen said...

oh... and I'll pick you up around 8 to go to Kendra's... do you want pepperoni on our pizza... Im in a sandy bullock/keanu reaves mood

Marie said...

LOL! Oh my, I can't believe how much we think alike sometimes. I seriously would have most if not all those types of thoughts running through my head too. hehe

Amit said...

oh its too scary...

I was stuck in an elevator at 4 in the morning. No one to help me out and thank God the elevator started by itself after 5 minutes...

Alice said...

ha, i'm soo happy i've never been stuck in an elevator, because it would be waaaay too embarassing to relate what would have gone on in my mind. fantasies about resucuers... yes. continued on to fantasies about full fledged relationships? probably. complete with telling the grandkids one day about how grandpa rescued me from a stuck elevator, and that's how we met... ;-P

The Zombie Lama said...

Silly Amber. Who wouldn't be enthralled by your natural beauty???

Aliecat said...

My train of thought would have been as follows: OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD, followed by a steady stream of: FUCKFUCKFUCK. Yeah, I'm extremely clauterphobid

Amanda said...

this is hilarious, i am so glad you were able to remember your train of thought.

and, for the record, as i was reading this, not only did i think of "silence of the lambs", but also the beginning of "speed"...oh, keanu was really hot in that uniform, just an aside.

appsdshell said...

Seriously, you think too much sometime! LOL!

Miladysa said...

There is only one AMBER! Roflmaohms!

Kiki said...

This was so hilarious! Everything you were thinking is exactly how I would've been.

The Husband said...

what if a guy was in the elevator with you?

The Other Half said...

at least you didn't get stuck with 14 other people in a SMALL elevator...that sucked...and it stunk too

The Husband said...

i'm somewhat closterphobic...if i were stuck in an elevator with 14 people for a long period of time...well i think 13 wouldn't make it out.