I arrived at the base of the building. It was tall, indiscreet, brick, long. I entered the elevator. I pressed the top button. The door closed. The elevator moved up. The doors opened onto open air. There was a narrow piece of wood 3 meters long. The city was wide-open down below. I could see the pavement far away. There were mountains in the distance. My building was far away. That’s where my home was.
I walked out a bit. I was scared. I’ve never been good with heights. Soon, my friends all jumped out behind me. They were hiding in the elevator. Max, Bobby, Krissah, and P. They stood there.
HEY boy! How you doing?
I was shaking. Too nervous to head back. Too nervous to answer them. Too timid to confirm anything real. I didn’t answer.
Hey! Didn’t you hear me?
I didn’t answer. I could tell they were starting to get mad. I understood. It’s what I would do if I was in their situation. It’s hard to talk to someone who doesn’t respond. I looked Krissah in their eyes and tried to send them a reassuring smile. I think it scared them. They reacted shockingly. Their shoulders rolled back. They looked visibly hurt.
Close the doors guys. Let’s head back down.
The doors tried to close. P had hit the button. The elevator didn’t move. They discussed the problem among themselves. They hit the button again. The doors didn’t close. They talked among themselves again. I was standing there shivering. I only wore a t-shirt and shorts. We were high up. It was one of the tallest buildings in the city. It was cold. They stopped talking. They tried to hit the button again. The door didn’t close. I looked down at my feet. I couldn’t see them. I just saw board. I looked down at the street. It was really far away. I turned around. My back face the elevator doors. I could no longer see my friends. I heard them muttering. I was still shaking. I was getting used to the height. I was feeling safe. I was looking into the surrounding buildings. I saw people going through their days. I saw friends and lovers and siblings and parents and dogs and cats and parakeets. I saw food in the process of being made. I saw clothes in the process of being cleaned. I saw floors in the process of being covered. My friends kept on muttering. I heard them hit the button again. I heard the door try to close. I heard them sigh as the door didn’t close. I turned around. I faced them again. They were whispering. They were muttering.
Guys. It’s my fault. Look at the plank.
The plank that I was standing on reached into the elevator. Each time the door tried to close it was obstructed by the plank. The plank had no expression. The plank had no idea what it was doing. I was standing there. I was still. I saw them look down at the plank. I saw them really realize their current situation. I told them
It’s okay! You can let me go. I’ll be fine.
I saw them use their legs and arms. I saw them lift up the plank. And I saw them getting smaller and farther away. I turned around. I hit the ground. I saw my left leg bent up, crooked, pointing up towards the sky. I saw my neck bent. I saw my fingers torn off. I didn’t see any blood. I saw the sky far above over me. I saw the elevator door close all the way up. I saw my friends disappear. I saw them appear a moment later. The door to the building opened. I saw the elevator close back up. I saw my friends rush out. I saw them getting smaller and smaller receding away. I saw them disappear into the ground in the distance. I saw nothing.
I saw again. I saw a kid and a mother and a father and a brother and a sister. I saw them all looking at me. I saw the paper near my feet. I saw the patterned color. I saw the kid reach out. I saw the kid touch my arm. I saw the kid rub my arm. I saw him massage it back into place. The blood went away. He delicately applied a bandage. He did this to my neck. He did this to my leg. Soon I was all patched up. Soon I felt okay. The kid smiled. His family smiled. The kid pat my back. The kid led me to a room. I walked. I got some rest. I fell into the bed.
I woke up in the morning. I was in a different bed. The mother and the father and the kid and the brother and the sister we’re all sleeping next to me. They were snoring. They were still. I got up. I went into the kitchen. I made myself some coffee. Some tea. A fresh cup of juice. Orange. Then pineapple. I cooked an egg. I put some yogurt in a bowl with granola. I had an orange. I ate at the kitchen counter. I saw a letter. Thank you for making my dreams come true, he’s perfect! I thought it was about me. It sort of creeped me out. I got out of there. I closed the door. I looked in through the window. The family was still asleep. I walked around the neighborhood but couldn’t make out anything precise. I walked for a few hours. I ended up back at the building. I entered the elevator. This time I pressed all the buttons. I stopped at each floor. I didn’t get off the elevator until I got to the top. This time I was on a roof. I had binoculars. I could watch the cars in the city. They drove themselves. I didn’t see any other people. I saw my body slumped on the ground. I got in the elevator. I exited. This time there was a plank. I walked out. I fell. I saw nothing.
I saw again. I saw a kid and a mother and a father and a brother and a sister. I saw them smiling. They invited me into their house. On the table was a big buffet. Everything I liked to eat. I sat down. I smiled politely. We waited. We waited. We waited. I couldn’t resist any longer. I ate. And I ate. And I ate. I ate so much food. All of my favorite food. It was the best I ever had. I couldn’t hold myself back. I ate and ate and ate until I was so full I occupied the entire house. The roof blew off. The family was climbing my body. I swatted them off like flies. Get off me, tiny people! I roared. I stood up and the whole house crumbled apart. I walked around the neighborhood. I didn’t see anything precise. I ended up back at the building. This time I took the other elevator. This one was lime green. The first was scarlet red. I pressed the bottom button. The doors closed. They opened hours later. I had traveled a far distance, vertically. I looked out. I saw a cavern filled with hanging illuminated crystals. There was a pathway-colored bright orange. I followed it for hours. I arrived at a pool. I took off all the clothes I wasn’t wearing. I dove in. I saw nothing.
I saw a kid and a mother and a father and a brother and a sister. We were watching a movie that wasn’t moving. Static played on the tv. I was entertained. I allowed myself to be entranced. I sat like that for a few years. They sat there too. They didn’t really move. I was comfortable. Calm. And collected. I only grew restless once I saw that the sun had risen again. I thought that a day was too long. I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. I thought and thought and thought about what I should do. I decided to leave two days later. I opened the door and was immediately greeted by another door, and I opened thar door and saw the same family inside. I sat down. I kept on watching the same movie. I got bored quickly. I fell asleep. I woke up. I was on the roof of the house. It was a clear day. The neighbors were out. There were kids running around and playing in the street and cars driving by and people mowing lawns and people sitting under umbrellas. I tried to look around. The movement caused me to slip. I fell down. I hit my nose on the ground. Then my head. Everything went black.
I woke up. I was outside the elevator. This time I decided to take the stairs. It took me five years. The building was so tall. In the stairwell I met Jack and Jill. They were heading down. They didn’t want to go out onto the plank. They were too scared. It was too high up. It wasn’t worth the risk. They were holding hands and skipping. They asked what I was up to. I said I needed to get to the plank. I had fallen off before. I woke up again near the elevator. I told them. They didn’t seem to mind. They were paying close attention to me. They asked if I was hurt. I told them I was fine. I asked where they were going. They said they wanted to paint the sky. They were off on an adventure. They liked to test themselves and put themselves in situations which scared them. They asked if I was all alone. I told them yes. They seemed sad for me. I said I was alright. I was. Kind of. I wouldn’t have minded some company. They left. I continued climbing the stairs. I forgot all about them. I arrived at a landing. There was a frog. It was wearing a crown. It smiled at me. It stuck its tongue out. I stuck my tongue out. Gave them a thumbs-up. They winked. I kept moving up. I walked until I grew tired. I took a rest. I sat there for a week. I slept every night. I got good sleep. I had vivid dreams. The building was the nightmare. I made it to the top. The plank was a diving board. I ran and I jumped off. I dove like a swimmer into a pool. I flipped over in the air. My back hit the ground first. I crunched like a cracker. I saw everything.
The elevator was hidden behind the door of a home. It was now made of glass. The house was cute and comfortable. I saw the family peering out of the windows. I could tell they wanted to invite me in. I didn’t really want to talk to them. I ignored them. I pretended I couldn’t see. I quickly hopped in the elevator. I think I was the first person to use it. It broke through the ceiling and then the roof. I looked down and I saw the family staring up. They didn’t seem to mind the hole in the house. I wanted to offer to fix it, but I knew I never would. The elevator kept rising until we reached the stratosphere. It was such a beautiful site. The earth looked so round. That family was so small. I could see them only if I blinked. They were there for a second. Then they were gone. The doors to the elevator opened. A plank materialized. This time it was made of steel. It was sturdy. It was a fine plank. I took a step. I took another step. I tried to jump off but this time I floated. I floated around for a bit. A rocket came swerving by. It was moving so fast. I grabbed onto it with all my strength. It was heading back down. Things grew larger. I no longer floated. I feel off the rocket. I pummeled towards the ground. I landed in a pool. I blacked out then I woke. I saw a doctor treating my wounds. I saw a family watching from a distance. They were fully clothed. Then I saw nothing.
I woke up in front of the building. I was sick of that elevator. I tried to go into the convenience store next door. I bought juice and some spicy chips. I paid at the register. I walked out. I saw the elevator next to me. I smiled at it. Said, BYE LOSER!. Made a peace symbol with my hands and walked away. I went into every store. Such a rush! I bought a bedazzled shirt which read, I survived the elevator! I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We caught up at the bar next door. They had great drinks. We talked for hours and then I left them. I wanted to get home. I had to check on the cat and dog. I wondered if they were still alive. I worried about them. I worried about the dust. I had neglected my duties. Not that I had a choice. I hadn’t taken care of my place. I was gone for so long. The stores were so intoxicating. All offering such innovative products, some I hadn’t even heard of. I bought and I bought and I bought. Lucky for me the elevator paid well. I turned around in between stores. I looked up back at the building. I saw the elevator in the distance. I saw a woman walk up. I could tell she was reading the sign. I saw her turn and walk away. I kept going. Soon, my arms were weighed down by all I had bought. I fell on the street. I fell asleep. Everything was black.
I woke up in the elevator. It took me to my room. It helped clean the dishes. It tucked me into bed. It gave me a cup of tea and a kiss on the forehead. It pet my pets. It watched as I fell asleep. I woke the next morning. The sun was rising. There was a steaming cup of tea on the bedside table. A goodbye note with heart. I ran into the hall. I took an elevator. It was different. It didn’t recognize me. I tried to run back to the building. I tried to take the elevator. I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t there.