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Saturday, November 3, 2012

I Don’t Know Nothin’ ‘Bout Elevators


Hi.  My name is Pearl, and I spend a lot of time in elevators. 

Hi, Pearl.

As you would suspect, this daily vertical winching has been slowly turning me into something of an expert in elevator presence.

So you can imagine how surprising it’s been for me, then, to find that there’s a definite lack of situational application for this information.

I reflect on all of this as I board the elevator, my bags held against me so as to not intrude on the space of others, my thoughtful punching of “Door Close” as the last person presses the button with their floor emblazoned on it.

I reflect on this as I realize that the early-morning smokers have also boarded.

As a person who has never enjoyed a pre-dawn smoke without it having come at the tail end of a long and drunken evening, never needed one before work, I can’t help but wonder if my fellow workers couldn’t have stood in the wind just a little longer, maybe popped an Altoid.

There should be something I can do with the smell, with the mix of filtered tobacco and cold air, something I can connect it to that will shine a light on something else.  Like the day I discovered the meaning of the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” or the realization that “he” didn’t call not because he was busy but because he just didn’t care.

I’m always looking for connections.

But sometimes there aren’t any.

Sometimes something stinks just because that’s what it does. 


Man.  There’s so much more to situational elevator presence than first presents itself.

21 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Early morning elevators...the smell of second hand smoke, garlic and underarm indiscretions. That olefactory reminder that work stinks.

vanilla said...

febreze is of no avail; what stinks stinks.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Situational Presence. Hmmmm... Another writing prompt I've never heard of. I think I like it. You always amaze me, Pearl, with what you can come up with out of the mundane, everyday. Good job!
Rosemary

esbboston said...

I agree with you, sometimes smoke is a present.

Geo. said...

Intriguing reflections. I like to mix and match: to me, he didn't call because he stunk, and so forth.

Eva Gallant said...

A combination of cigarette and coffee breath is the worst!

Eva Gallant said...

A combination of cigarette and coffee breath is the worst!

sage said...

There's always the stairs, but then people would complain of body odor after such a workout!

The Jules said...

I have an image of you as a liftaholic now, unable to pass a tall building without popping in for a couple of levels on their elevator.

Just one more storey, then I'll get back to work . . .

Pat said...

What we need is nasal plugs that one can easily insert - like ear plugs and through whicn one can breath unpolluted air.
Must try Amazon.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Arm yourself with cardboard cutouts so everyone will think the elevator is already full?

Oh wait, the lack of stink will give you away.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Times like these, a personal mask with fresh air coming in would be nice... if only people didn't get so freaked out by it.

I like to think we are elevator aficionados now.
We live in a 100 year old building with one of those wacky "cage" elevators. Mirrors, brass and wood floor and mahogany half walls. Really beautiful, really slow and sometimes really noisy.

But it looks good so who am I to complain ?
besos. C

Joanne Noragon said...

A smoker smells like a smoker even fresh out of the shower and dressed in newly laundered clothes. The smell still oozes from flesh. Or maybe it's shoes, wallet, belt, money. I don't know.

Ian Lidster said...

In one respect, be grateful it's just tobaccco smell. It could be something much worse. Just sayin'

Linda O'Connell said...

Cigarette smokem and ingering bad colonge that permeates your clothing is almost as bad as silent but deadly gas.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The scents within an elevator certainly leave an impression, but it could be worse. Just think what an elevator smells like to a midget. Oops, excuse me ... to a little person. Especially if any of the elevator riders had beans for dinner.

jeanie said...

It is gobsmacking, as an ex-smoker, to realise just how much stink there is to the habit - see, as a smoker you can't smell it...

I do not envy you that elevator journey.

jenny_o said...

There IS something you can do with the smell, and it sounds like you may already be doing it - use your distaste as motivation for not smoking :)

River said...

Because they are workers, I'll assume their clothes are cleaned on a regular basis, so at least you haven't got the awful reek of months old smoke that has permeated every stitch of clothing. I get that from several of my customers, their homes must smell absolutely foul, if their bodies, clothes and shopping bags are anything to go by. I've had a lot more asthma attacks from this and now keep many more inhalers scattered around at home and work.

Tempo said...

As a non smoker I understand right where youre coming from Pearl. Smokers just dont realise how bad they smell.

Douglas said...

Although the lingering scent of cigar/cigarette smoking bothered me, it never reached the level of abhorrence that the ladies who think a pint of liberally splashed cheap perfume will fool people into thinking she didn't spend the night with that loser from the bar.