Universal Laws of Elevator Dynamics

One: On the rare day when you’re early to work, you will find the elevator sitting pretty on the ground floor, pliant as a cow, in kind anticipation of your presence. On other days though, when making it to your desk on time is a sixty-second game, the elevator will oscillate between the 15th and the 20th floor, stubbornly refusing to be of service to your tardy ass.

Two: While you’re waiting for the mean machine to return, a dozen assorted people will join the queue, including one who will spend his entire time gazing at your ass, your ass, and your ass. You will keep quiet despite being wholly pissed, because said ass-gazer could have been in front instead, and that would have made it much worse. You have been taught to be grateful for small mercies. 

Three: Your co-passengers will insist on pressing the elevator button a hundred times, as if battering the button will accelerate the elevator to Ferrari speeds. When you politely point out that the button merely summons the device and has no acceleration powers, they will look at you all offended and wounded. One elderly lady will mutter under her breath that this over-smartness is the reason girls of today remain unwed. 

Four: In residential buildings, there will always be one enthu-cutlet kid jostling his way into an already over-crowded elevator. He will then insist on holding up the elevator until his Mummy finishes parking her car and makes it in. When you suggest that he step out and wait with his Mummy for sixty seconds instead, he will snarl at you like a certain Donald does at every book, banner and billboard bearing a certain Obama’s face. 

Five: On days when you’re particularly hard-pressed for time, the baby brother of above enthu-cutlet, riding the elevator solo because YOLO, will run his sticky fingers across all the buttons from 20 to 0, thus downgrading this nonstop bullet train to a Mumbai local stopping at every junction. Given your luck, this will typically happen on the day you’ve done your one-gallon water detox and your bladder is threatening to burst. 

Six: On weekdays when you wake up too late to cover your panda eyes and pimple terrain with two kilos of foundation, you will bump into the most gorgeous Greek God in the elevator. He will smile at you with a mix of kindness and pity, a little like a preschool teacher saying “there, there” to a crying toddler. But on good hair and perfect makeup days, when you’re smelling like Beyoncé and looking like a Gaga or Gigi, you will have only your reflection for company. 

Seven: Everything that homo sapiens must not do when packed tight like sardines, they will do in elevators. Some will bear, in their mouths, the exquisite fragrance of onions. Some, who’re carrying their family jewels in their crotch, will adjust their trousers ever so often. Some will, if riding the lift after lunch, expend atomic farts that leave the space smelling like sewage. And some, the greatest of all specimens, will sneeze/cough copiously in your face, without a mask. 

Eight: Most importantly, know this: destiny works at cross-purposes with elevators. The people who appear in your dreams – and I don’t mean the likes of Taylor Swift or George Clooney, but even your basic office crush or next-door pretty gal – will never turn up in elevators. However, the people you’re trying desperately to avoid – like your creepy neighbour, or worse, your manager – will regularly show up in the elevator queue. Because, real life is less rom-com and more horror, and there is nothing more terrifying than being enclosed in a windowless room with your ghosts standing behind you, breathing down your neck, softly whispering that your time floor has come.

Megha Nayar is a communications trainer and fiction writer from India. She teaches English and French for a living, and writes to remain sane. Most of her stories are about sweet women, salty men, and dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @meghasnatter. She will follow you back if you own/are a dog, or if you say nice things about hers.

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