Just a nice, long ride up the elevator to the 110th floor. What a pleasant ride this is, right? Just me, myself and my thoughts. No other humans. This silky smooth jazz in my ears. Ahh, time to get my-OH SHIT, ANOTHER HUMAN. Quick, stare at my phone.
Alright, you can make it through this. At least it’s a man. Men are unable to smell fear like women. Just don’t look up. Stare at the iphone. That’s it, check out the weather app. Nobody uses the weather app. You already know it’s 72 degrees out there and sunny. Look at it anyway. Anything to avoid casual conversation with a stranger.
Balding head. Brown suit. Briefcase. Good, good. You just stare straight ahead like that, briefcase man, just stare straight ahead and no one will get awkward.
Shoot, I can’t stare at the weather for a hundred and ten floors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible, but what if he’s watching? What if he’s a creep? What if he’s one of those old fetish men who looks for their gay soul mates on city elevators? That’s a real thing, right? That’s definitely a real thing.
Look at him putting a piece of gum in his mouth. What does he think, like gum’s gonna make things less awkward? Yeah, keep trying, buddy. Stare at the phone. Stare at the phone. You’re texting a friend. You’re texting a friend. He doesn’t know you don’t have friends.
He’s getting off. That’s right, briefcase man. You leave my elevator and you stay gone.
Whoo. Now I can enjoy the peace and quiet like a normal people-hater. I can finally put my phone away and stare at the metal door and wood tiling and think about how important last night’s episode of The Walking Dead is.
Oh God, not another one. Not another. It’s a lady. What does she think, this is an everybody elevator? Take the stairs. You could use the exercise. That’s awkward. She’s not even fat, you’re just saying she’s fat because you haven’t looked at her and you hope she’s not attractive. That’d be even more awkward. Quick, stare at your phone.
Yup, there’s my contacts, alright. One, two. Let’s count my contacts and see how many I have. Oh, how about now I text someone half way, then erase the message and not send it? That’ll kill some more awkward time. Let’s see what it looks like if I go to notepad, write a whole bunch of emoticons in a row, and then erase them all.
Look at her, just standing there, minding her own business. Who does she think she is? Too good to even say a cordial “hello” to a stranger in the elevator? Look at her stare at the metal door like she minds her own business. Whatever. People are rude. Don’t make eye contact. Quick, press buttons like you’re actually texting someone.
Whoo, she’s getting off. That’s right, lady. Be gone. Be gone from my domain. Now I can travel the last fifty floors without a bunch of rude, awkward people not staring at me.
Oh God, here’s another one. A woman. A younger woman. My age. Twenties. Pretty attractive, actually. Very attractive. Wish I could talk to her but…sigh…stare at the phone. If you’re lucky this will all be a painless session of avoiding someone you could be talking to.
What…um…what is she doing? Why is she staring at her phone like that? Stop that. Stop that now. I do that. You don’t do that, too. There can only be one awkward phone starer in the elevator.
Don’t pretend you’re texting. You’re not texting. If you are it’s certainly about something trivial. You probably just asked your mom what she’s doing. Nobody cares what their mom’s doing. Look at you. Look at you, big faker.
I bet she just texted a restaurant to see what their menu is for today. Nobody does that. Or her best friend. She’s probably like “LOL in the elevator, lmao, so much funz, hehehe”. Yeah, that’s what she wrote. Definitely.
It’s whatever, I’ll just stare at my phone harder. I know she’s not texting anyone. I’ll just scroll through these random apps and see if I find one I like. Whoop, there’s a stockbroker’s app. I’ll click on it to kill time. Whoop, let me look at all my Facebook friends. How many of them do I talk to again? Oh, that’s right, like four. But I’ll look at each of their pages six times right now to kill time. Let me just look at these pictures from 2007 real quick…
Look how rude she is. Still just text text texting away like I don’t know she’s awkward too. Alright, this is just ridiculous.
“Excuse me? Excuse me?”
She looks up.
“What are you doing?”
“Excuse me?” She says, like she doesn’t know she’s a faker.
“Yeah you, girl. Who are you texting?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
“I’m just wondering because, it really seems like you’re a big elevator phony who’s afraid of human contact.”
“What? I was texting my mom, give me a break.”
“You’re rude, man. And I thought you were cute when I got on, too.”
“I am cute.”
“Not now, you’re not.”
“I am so still cute. Just because you awkwardly text your mom doesn’t make me not cute.”
“What were you texting mommy? Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“ Mom, I really liked your spaghetti recipe that you used to make when I was seven.”
“I had to text you, mommy, because I just instagrammed a pic of me in the elevator with a grainy filter and it looks soo chic and retro.”
“Not at all.”
“Show me the text then.”
“Alright, I will.”
She hands me her phone. I read her text.
“Mom, I’m so proud of the way you’ve been battling for your life these past months. You’re the best, mom. Ever since I could walk, you’ve been my role model. I look forward to every day I can spend with you. Love you so much!!!”
Wow. I think…I think it’s in everybody’s best interest if I just find the nearest roof and jump.