The Elevator Operator

The Elevator Operator.


“Floor number?”

“Eight, please”

“Floor number?”

“Lobby”

“Floor number?”

“Mezzanine 2, please!”

“Floor number?”

“Three, no, sorry, Four… I can’t remember! Sorry! Let’s do this: leave me in number three and if it’s not there, I’ll walk. I need to exercise”

This is my life. Eight days, every day, repeating the same mantra and pressing the same buttons again and again, defying gravity. My name is Ascension (yes, my parents were having a laugh) and I’m the one manipulating Earth’s pull everyday, from 5 am to 1 pm, in this bland new hotel, which is as boorish as our political parties pummelling our country to the ground.

Although you might think the contrary, I’m never bored at my job. Every time someone gets in or out, I challenge myself and memorise to the utmost detail all of their factions, behaviour, irks and clothes. At the end of each day, I write them down in my trusty notebook, then cut out the word with scissors and throw them in the air to make Dadaistic poems.

“Red shirt. Long legs. Dirty glasses. Golden shoelaces. Posh. Case. Dog”.

“Make out session (avec necking). Smelly takeaway. Soy sauce dripping. Callused fingers. Horse nose. Matrushka dolls. Scratch”.

“Black skirt. Praying. Loud MP3s. Stationery. Skinny jeans. Albino. Hairy chest. Shiner. Smile. Intelligent”.

“Smart. Obnoxious ringtone. Chatterbox. Coke swilling rightwinger”.

In the laziest hours, my only company is this little stool that seems to have been nicked from a Czechoslovakian castle (the owner probably was shot in the back of the shed by Commies). Okay, I’ve never been to Czechoslovakia but that’s how I imagine their furniture. Red, with vinyl and splintered wood.

I’m not allowed to use earphones, so I hum songs to the rhythm of the beat of the stool’s legs, hitting the floor of the lift. I even made a song called “Concert for blind, deaf, mute and beaver” and although it sounded like the version of “Cielito Lindo” that you get at football matches, I managed to get it into more experimental sounding landscapes. I finished my composition with the sound of my toothbrush going up and down inside my mouth. King Crimson ain’t got shit on me.

I hate how people stare at me, puzzled. As if that by every time I ask “Which floor?” I’m interrupting one simple action that requires no middle man. I once heard a woman say “How quaint! An elevator that still uses an operator!”, a completely absurd comment. As if all elevators didn’t require a job as noble as mine! How could you conceive a clock without a watchmaker?

“Shouting. Grey Oxford suit. Blood in hands. Leash. Manila envelope. Mandolin. Arms crossed”.

Words: Homo Rodans.

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