Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The elevator personality

Hey, doesn't that title sound like a juicy, almost interesting listoid from a pop psychology book? 

The Elevator Personality (Type number seven) is a personality that constantly goes up and down.

But no. I'm not here for that.

I'm simply here to talk about the personality of my elevator at the library. The back, "staff only" elevator, not the front one.

The back library elevator is like a peaceful, almost slumbering, old man, patient, and deep in thought. There is some deep wisdom there with this elevator, if you're willing to look for it, though sometimes it is hard to mark it out as different from the elevator's slowness or absence. 

I like to take the elevator upstairs when I have a cart of books, empty or full. I almost never go to the basement for anything on the elevator, and three floors is all this elevator covers. But even with so few floors, when I press the button on any floor the elevator takes a very long time to come.

"Don't hurry." The elevator hums quietly. "It is better to let the world move itself around you than it is to move yourself."

While the elevator is coming the up or down arrow is lit, or in the elevator the number of the floor is. But before the elevator doors roll open, everything goes still. The light goes out. Nothing happens. We wait.

"Did we push the button?" We wonder after a while. "Maybe we didn't push the button."

And then:

The door opens.

Is it just a really slow elevator? Or is it giving us an opportunity?

Does the door open, 

before the doors open?

Maybe we stay on the same floor all the time, and the world rises and falls all around us?

I cannot answer these riddles. You cannot answer these riddles.

Only the elevator can answer them, and we, if willing to wait, can listen.


  1. I never used the staff elevator of which you speak, but I'0 degrees to ve used the public elevator many times and what I have to say is I HATE IT! I hate the slowness. I hate the brief moment of confusion before I remember that I have to turn 180 degrees in order to exit. But most of all I hate the stop, the pause, and then the louder-than-necessary DING before the door opens.


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