Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Elevator

The Elevator

            I stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for my floor.  It was as the doors were closing that I noticed her, leaning against the wall, hands in her pockets, head back, looking straight ahead waiting to arrive at her floor.  I didn’t stare at her, though I desperately longed to study her.  No, I didn’t stare.  Instead, I leaned against the left wall, crossed my arms, crossed my right foot over my left, and tried to catch side-long glances at her.
            She gave a sort of sigh, took her hands out of her pockets, and crossed her arms.

            Is he looking at me?  He is so hot.  I take my hands out of my pockets; not knowing what to do with myself, I cross my arms.  He crossed his arms first.  What if he thinks I’m copying him?  Jean, he doesn’t care.  I uncross my arms, stand up straight and put my thumbs in my back pockets.  I will never be cool.  I am much too anxious a person.

            I took a chance and looked over at her as she switched positions.  Her eyes were such a dark brown.  She looked sad, yet not.  A hint of a smile curled on her lips.  I wondered if she was thinking about her boyfriend.  She probably had one, either that or she took an oath – her and her bosom buddies – not to date anyone.

            I want to look at him, but I can’t without him noticing.  I like his maroon jacket with the stripe down the side.  I’d like it better wrapped around me filled with his strong arms.  He looks strong.  I shift my head to the side hoping to catch a good glimpse of his face crowned by blond hair.  Oh, he has blue eyes.  I love blue eyes.  And the way he’s standing.  Can I take you home with me?  Geez, I want someone to love.  Is that too much to ask?

             She crossed her arms again looking impatient.  I made a vow not to move, but when it appeared she was looking to her right, I chanced a look at her – her fair face.  Was she blushing?  Her skin looked so soft. 
            I pictured myself walking up to her after we’d just got into a fight because something she said made me crazy – she drives me crazy.  In an act of forgiveness – or an act of bravery – I walk up to her, slip my hand behind her small, tender neck feeling her silk hair brush against my hand as she turns her face to me.  Letting her shoulders drop, letting her defenses drop, she sighs and says, “I’m sorry,” and I take the hand behind her neck and slide it to the smooth line of her jaw rubbing my thumb over her porcelain cheek.  I kiss her forehead and leaving my lips there, smile and tell her, “You drive me crazy.” 
            I wondered what her smile would look like.

            It’s hot in this elevator.  When is it ever going to get to the floor?  I’m glad I wore my bright blue shirt.  And these jeans.  I look good today. 
            What am I getting so uptight for?  It’s not like he notices me much.  He probably has a girlfriend anyway – or is gay.  Or he smokes.  Or maybe he’s just not my type.
            I sneak a glance at those blue eyes.  He’s smiling.  What is smiling about?  Oh, he has a kind smile.  I could wait all day to see that smile.  I would love to have that smile wait for me to come home every day.  I wouldn’t mind that face greeting me as I walk up to meet him.
            Suddenly, the thought comes to me:  Make your bracelet fall off.  I could secretly unclasp it and allow it to “unknowingly” slip to the ground.  What if he doesn’t pick it up and try to get it back to me, though?  It’s my favourite – I would hate to lose it because of some silly fantasy about a guy.
            This is ridiculous, but I unclasp the bracelet anyway.  Finally, at my floor, I wait for the doors to open, and then let my arms fall to my sides and walk out.  I hear my bracelet hit the elevator floor, but I try hard to pretend I heard and noticed nothing. 
            Turning left and heading for Alaina’s door, I try hard to keep my cool after acting like such a dork.

            I continued catching glimpses of her out of the corner of my eye.  She looked as if she had a quiet spirit about her.  Quiet and sweet.  I wanted to see her face lit up.  To see what her eyes looked like shining and her smile looked like beaming, her face telling me that I’m her hero.  I wanted to see the look that would tell me she wanted no other.
         Then the elevator stopped.  The doors opened.  As she dropped her hands to her sides, something fell to the floor.  She didn’t seem to notice it.  “Miss,” I said.  “Excuse me, miss.  I believe you dropped something.”  I reached to the ground and picked up a ruby bracelet.  I went to go through the open doors and return her bracelet, but the doors had shut, and I didn’t know what to do.  So I did nothing.

            I hear him calling, “Miss!  You dropped your bracelet.”
            I turn, and my stomach flips seeing him approach me. 
            “Oh, thank you,” I say.  “I wonder how that came off.”  Now knowing where the stupidity is coming from, I blurt, “I’m Jean” and give my warmest smile.
            “Michael,” he says smiling back and reaching out his hand.
            Trembling – I can’t believe I’m shaking! – I reach my hand out to meet his.  His warm hand envelops mine.  This is it – this is the only hand I want comforting me and holding me and caressing me for the rest of my life.
            Still holding onto my hand, which feels so small to me, yet so secure in his hand, he asks, “Would you like to go get some coffee?  I live just upstairs.”
            “Okay,” I find myself saying.  Then I shake my head waking myself from the stupor.  “Actually, I’m heading to my friend’s place,” I say pointing to Alaina’s door.  “We’re going to watch movies and order a pizza.  We have a movie fest every Thursday night.  Tonight is a John Cusack fest.  Would you like to join us?”
            He looks sheepishly away from me, shrugs, and says, “I wouldn’t want to impose.”
            I really have no idea where my courage is coming from.  “Oh no, not at all.  We love company.”  This seems to give him encouragement, and nodding his gorgeous head, he replies, “Okay.”

            Berv.  Berv.  Berv.  Ber--.  I turn off my alarm clock as it rings 6am.  Slowly I place my arms beneath me and raise myself off my stomach and into a sitting position.  I wipe the sleep out of my eyes.  I walk to the bathroom and decide I need to shave….
            It’s 6pm now.  I’m glad to be off work, but I wish I had something to do tonight besides watch movies.  I sigh walking into the building – pizza again tonight.  Hitting the up-button on the wall and waiting for the elevator to arrive reminds me of the dream I had last night.  It was so real.  Why couldn’t it be real?  Even if it only happened in part that would be better than the everyday humdrum. 
            I hear a ding letting me know the elevator has come.  Suddenly the thought comes to me, What if the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with is standing in this elevator?  I take a breath and sigh knowing the impossibility. 
            The doors open.  Not even brave enough to look, I leave my head down stepping into the elevator and pushing the button for my floor.  I sense another presence.  Impossible.  I quickly look at the person standing with me.  It’s a beautiful girl, small frame, with a bright blue shirt and a ruby bracelet.  I wonder what her name is and what she looks like when she smiles.


The end.

Silly Romantic Scene

Silly Romantic Scene


We were friends for a while.  One day I had allergies pretty bad, which I'd never had until I was twenty-five.  I had been wearing my contacts all day.  My eyes were stinging and watering.  My left eye hurt so badly I was getting a sinus headache.  I went home from work and took out my contacts.  My eyes were red, especially the left one.  They were still watering and stinging.  I took some Tylenol.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  Both eyes were swollen; the left one was almost shut.  I felt miserable.

My friend came over to keep me company.

“My eye is nearly swollen shut,” I pouted flopping down on the couch next to him.

“Yeah,” he responded.  He kept glancing over at me with a peculiar look.  Then he took his arm, put it around my shoulder and gently squeezed me to him.  This squeeze, for some reason, felt different from the normal hugs of friendship; there was almost a sense of frustration in this particular squeeze.  He gave me a quick kiss on my temple as he always does to reassure me.  I looked up at him.  Before I knew what happened, the fool kissed me.  What?

He sighed, “I think you’re beautiful.”

My dear friend, whom I adored and was secretly infatuated with, loved me as more than a friend.  Slowly this realization trickled down over me from the top of my head, through my arms, and out of my fingers; it then tingled all the way to my toes – the delicate feeling of bliss.

“Really?” I questioned.

He just smiled at the silly gal beside him.  “Yeah.”

Further into the evening we were watching auditions for one of those televised talent competitions.  My legs were stretched out across his lap, slight pangs of my headache lingering.  My eyes were feeling a little better after having put allergy drops in them.  My friend looked at me and asked, “Do you think we could do some more of that whole my lips meet yours later on?”

The Moon Observes

A short piece (500 words at most) I did for an online class.  I've rewritten it once since the class bearing in mind the comments made by the other students and the instructor.

The Moon Observes
Spinning, spinning, spinning.  The earth spins in a second, and the moon beholds the earth’s wonders.  The moon stretches her light down, down, through the clouds to a quiet, cozy street.  She admires the maple tree dressed in a royal cloak of rust, copper and cranberry.  His leaves shiver in the cool breeze.

The air carries the scent of wood smoke and cider, the sound of creaking and the sound of chatter.  The moon starts to follow the wind, but stops.  Her eye catches on a young man and a young woman who slowly sway back and forth on a porch swing at the maple tree’s house.

It is the young woman who is speaking.  “I miss you when you go away.”

He answers, “I miss you too.”

“Do you?”

He smiles.  “Of course I do.  I miss wrapping you up in my arms.  I miss your company.  What do you miss about me?”

The young woman stares intently at the mug she is holding and quietly responds, “I miss your smell.  But I don’t miss your mood swings.”

“I’m moody?”  He tries to hide a smile.

“Yes.  I never know, sometimes, if you’ll be hot or cold on me[SB1] .  Sometimes we’ll be talking and suddenly you retreat to your own world.”

In mock hurt he says, “But I thought you loved me?”

“Of course I love you, you goof, but you can be frustrating.”  She looks at the young man.  “Come back to me.”

“I’ll be back from Afghanistan for a visit in April.”

“Come back to me.”

“If I don’t, I’m sure you’ll find solace with Jeff.”

The young woman turns her attention back to her mug.

“I’m sorry.  Cheap shot.  I’m scared I may not get back to you.”

“You’ll come back.”

The young man stands and places his mug on the porch.  He does the same with the young woman’s mug, and holding out his hand, begs her to stand.  He leads her off the porch and shyly she follows.  Wrapping her up in his arms, he pulls her closer to him – her left hand resting on his shoulder, her right hand tucked into his left.  Holding onto her waist, he begins their turn.[SB2] 

Spinning, spinning, spinning.  The wind breathes a little harder, and the man pulls the young woman closer.  She giggles.  She’s stepped on his foot.  The young man grins down at the woman.  She nuzzles her nose into his chest. The couple spins slowly crunching the leaves that have escaped from the maple tree.

The night wears on, and the moon must carry on with it.  And the scents and the sounds and the wind become fainter as the moon retracts her light up and up back through the clouds.  She watches the earth spin, spin, spin.

 [SB1]Instructor said this is vague and asked me to be more specific.  Not sure if the next two phrases do the trick or not.

 [SB2]Instructor found this confusing.  (not sure the whole paragraph or just this line); she thought maybe it was a dance, but not sure.

Death is...

"[Death is] To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth. 
                —Thomas Wolfe