The Hells on Earth Series; No1: Elevators

An ongoing series of places and situations that feel like hell on earth:


The difficulty with this lazy mistress is quite complex, as I’ve fallen into the habit of calling them ‘elevators’ instead of ‘lifts’. This is a hanging offence for anyone who’s trying to remove all evidence that they grew up watching Friends on repeat. Cultural homogenisation aside, elevators are terrible. Our’s smells like bin (usually our bin- but when neighbours get in we also feign disgust at the anonymous savages we live with). The mirror is a not a mirror but a time machine to an older you with a beige face and sad eyes.

There’s an ongoing fault with our door so when it shuts it sounds like a tiny car crash or the bars of a prison cell. The buttons have milk on them. All of these things make it an un-enjoyable place to be yet the reason it is hell on earth. That status derives from the smothering awkwardness of being stuck in an elevator with a stranger who shouldn’t really be a stranger because they live just down the corridor. We have nothing in common apart from the fact that we’re now both staring at the milky buttons and collectively hoping it’s milk. No journey will ever be as long or as silent as the elevator journey. It’s a personality vacuum where even the most interesting of people become devoid of conversation. You stare at the ground and wait for the doors to grind open so you can remember who you used to be. You burst out of those doors like you’re about to go on fire and think that you’re a flabby bastard for not taking the stairs, deep down knowing that you’ll do the same thing later that day. The stairs are for winners so I guess I’ll see you when I get home from Spar ole’ smelevator. Peace.


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