Stories About Elevators

Over on Scientific American, Krystal D’Costa has written an essay on elevators. It’s long, it’s charming, and at the end it asks, very sweetly, “What are your own elevator experiences?” Well, instead of sharing in their comments section like she asks, I’ll share one very unexciting elevator story here, which, word of warning, has no punchline at all.

When I was six years old my dad took me to a Red Sox game (it’s very loosely an elevator story). It was a night game, I had never been to Fenway before, and he bought me one of those felt triangle pennants to wave. I didn’t understand anything about baseball, although when people cheered I knew good things were happening. But then also baseball games are kind of boring for children who have no idea what baseball is, so I mostly just enjoyed playing with this new thing I had — the pennant — and I pressed it into my face a lot, and wrapped it around my head. Then I started to notice a correlation between the times the crowd cheered — a good thing happening for the Red Sox — and the times I had the pennant on my face. So I was like, “Oh, I’m causing the Red Sox to win,” and I spent the rest of the game with the pennant wrapped around my head, my hands clamping it over my ears. My dad was like, “Edith, don’t you want to see the game?” and I was like, “I can’t, I’m the one making them win!” I don’t remember whether they actually won or not, but I do remember going back home after the game — my dad was living in an apartment outside Boston at the time — and riding the elevator up for what seemed like a million years, in an awesome way, because I hadn’t spent much time in elevators before, and they were so tidy and bright and buttony, etc. It seemed like the latest I’d ever been awake, so I asked my dad what time it was, and he shook his wrist out of his jacket and told me it was 11:20 p.m., and I thought yes, it was the latest I’d ever been awake, and that baseball was great, and that it was so fun to have this new apartment to visit, and that the apartment had this incredibly tall elevator I’d now get to ride regularly. Anyway. Elevator stories. That’s the ending of this one, which I realize isn’t much of an ending at all, but I’m feeling a little mushy right now. But maybe your own elevator experiences do have endings! Please feel free to share them here, or over there. Or in both places. Or nowhere. What a week!