Thursday, September 14, 2006


"Going down?"
"Going up?"
Today, not just any direction could suffice, it took no direction at all to land such an unpredictable experience. As the door opened, the smell was of relish and stale garbage, accented with breezes of cafeteria food. Walking through the entrance, my feet stuck to the floor as my arm grazed the wall, caressing a substance I would rather not have been exposed to. I could imagine if I had touched my tongue to the wall, would it have caused a Christmas Story-esc shenanigan that only the San Francisco Fire Department could save me from?
One dim fluorescent bulb lit the grimy rectangular box and the door closed behind me, I was now the prisoner of one of the most horrific elevators in USF history. Looking up, the ceiling had scratches in it reminiscent of a horror movie and the walls were broken and damaged as if a Veloca Raptor were once trapped inside.
Moving up and down, the elevator grimaced as mostly Bon Appetite cooks traveled between the first and second floor. The capacity warning stated that myself and 2350 extra pounds could fit, but I was hardly convinced. Bon Appetite employees, as I discovered, travel in packs and their conversations are based around "working too many hours" and griping about a certain arch-enemy that someone shouldn’t have "high-fived."
The only relief I had inside was in the friends I made onboard. The first was the emergency telephone bolted to the left side; I knew I could depend on it for rescue if suddenly I had to call someone warning them I was hurling helplessly from the fifth floor to the first. My other friends came in the form of buttons: one read, "push in case of emergency," and the other, "push in case of fire." God save the poor soul who ever gets trapped inside that wretched box during a fire.
Judging by the mustard colored walls that fade into a tope ceiling, one can tell Adolf Loos had no part in its interior design, but still, the rusted metal floor made of six uneven panels gave a sense of home– that is if home was San Quentin. Two USF event staff entered next– puzzled looks and odd stares were exchanged– then out of no where the shorter of the two spoke up, "You are just hanging out in this thing." She had figured me out in less than three looks so I half-heartedly agreed. Apparently the USF event staff stipend their wages with odd jobs as psychics. She then said, "You should get a job at Rasputen’s. They have a guy there who just rides up and down, but he has a stool." Laughter ensued and they stepped off no later than they could.
This was to be my last encounter with human life before the elevator idled at the second floor, the Bon Appetite kitchen, for fifteen solitary minutes. As time passed, the increasing loneliness brought about a certain insanity and I concluded my worst fear would be realized if someone stole my shoes, leaving my bare feet without defense on the soiled floor. On the other side of the dingy silver door, I could hear a strange buzzing mixed with the hybrid language of Spanish and Chinese used by the cooks. The only other noise was an out of tune whistle, which I soon tried to match.
In a brief moment of sanity, I decided I needed to return to the real world, outside this mind trap. Pushing the third floor button, the elevator lurched up one floor and the doors slid open. As I retreated from this travesty and looked back, I saw a green sign printed with white lettering. I could only wonder– if I called 422-6464, would the permits for this elevator really be on file?
written by: Jacob Marx

1 comment:

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Now post on some aspect of the experience. For instance, was there any particular reason for deciding to put yourself at the center of the story? No reason not to, but I'm wondering why you decided to tell the tale in just that way.