Damn good thing happened today. I got to have an intensely weird thing happen to me. You always see/hear of these things but when they happen to you, it's just that much more hip. Plus, as an extra bonus, she was cute.
Cool! Letterman mentioned my favorite vehicle tonite. The Camaro. I love my, love my, love my little teal-blue car. Heh.
First, I have to explain that I was coming in a little late to work. I'm supposed to get there at 8am. I was about to come in at 1:30pm. Ooops. I can fairly blame it on insomnia tho. Even staying in bed until Noon I barely got 5 hours of sleep. I would barely doze off and then wake right back up. So I'm coming in to work as normal people are coming back in from lunch.
So, coming in to the weird garage we park in around this time usually means we get a low spot, because people are starting to leave for late lunches. Today, my luck sucked so I wound up parking on level 5. Being tired and out of it, I was fortunate to get there alive. I snagged an adequate -- except for being way the hell up -- spot that wasn't one of the vile farthest from the elevator and smelling-a-bit-like-urine spots.
Ok, maybe my luck didn't suck, but my parking karma was low. Offendi El Parking Attendant...
Now, blindly, I stumble the half level up to the elevator. We have one of those split level ranch garages, which ensures you have to take twice as many nose-cone-scraping ramps in your '91 extra-long-nose Camaro. I pile into the mecifully waiting elevator and punch the 1 button. A few random dings later, in what may just be the most rickety, death-defying elevator in Louisville, and we grind to a stop, the doors trying to open twice before making it, since the elevator has a tendency to try and open the doors before coming to a halt. Me, blind from sleep deprivation and mortal fear of plunging 5 stories to my not-quite-mortally wounded pool of bum urine.
So I start to step out, only to wind up face to face with a lovely blonde. Confused that she won't get out of my way and -- honestly -- not that unhappy about it, I just stand there in the door way for a second. Then I notice that we are only on the third floor, and that I'm the idiot in the way. Luckily, I have a basic defense for these situations. Grin like a fool, and babble.
Alright, I have to say that I particularly despise people
who try and push their way onto an elevator before everyone on it has a chance
to get off. Can they really think that the elevator will leave them behind?
Or that it might leave a second earlier if they get in and push the buttons
while others finish filling off? Are they just assholes? I think they are
stupid, fuck-nugget, gorilla-lick-snot, weasel-bait eating, pus-bags.
Well, they are jerks, anyway.
Even better for me, I am occasionally witty enough that the babbling doesn't always cement me in their minds as a total boob. In this case, it was easy to smile and be charming since she had a fabulous, warm smile that lit the elevator up. We shared oh-mi-gawd-we're-gonna-die in-this-satanic-garage-elevator stories and laughed. Then the doors opened and I closed out the charming moment with a truly fine, "Hey, you have a good day, and take care now..." line.
Saying good bye turned a little more awkward, as we both left the elevator going the same way, then left the garage going the same way. Being tired -- and a lazy slug -- I began to trail behindher brisker pace. This had an obvious benefit, since the leather jacket she was wearing really made her hips and bottom look good. You know those soap commercials where the guy drags his tired, naked ass in the shower, then bugs his eyes out when he gets a whiff of soap? Boom, imagine that same thing going on with me, there on the street, looking at her butt. (Pretend I didn't use whiff one sentence back, thanks.) So, I've dropped back a bit, in order to avoid the awkward premature-goodbye thing, and have discovered a happy consequence.
Premature goodbye is only one of the many faux pas that one can get into conversing with strangers. I think back to my childhood and thank god my parents taught me not to talk to strangers then. I might never have survived the intense shame and fear of botching a random encounter. Other mistakes I'm lucky to have missed as an impressionable youth are: the horrific you look a lot like someone I know and boy are they stupid; the nightmareish elevator comment like "Hey, what floor is the bathroom on?"; the brutal "oh you were talking to your husband, right behind me there..."; and the mindnumbingly atrocious fart in the empty hallway only to have every person in the whole company walk right throught the death cloud. The very worst of all is the stupid question trap, where you say something like "Ooh, is that your car?" while they are getting out if it. There is no way to recover from that.
I used to have a set of the elevator rules from that study years ago. Someone sent it too me in e-mail but it dies along with everything on this server that I never got around to backing up before the harddrive died. If I remember, they are:
This blows up on me, since she has to stop at the corner for the light. I wind right back beside her, pathetically not talking since we've already said goodbye. It gets worse, it happens again at the next light. At this point the pressure of not looking at me, not making eye contact with me, and not walking along with me has peaked so whe practically sprints from that light across ther street, ineveitably moving toward the same building that I'm heading to, by the same route that I always take. (By the fountain, thru the park, people who stick to the sidewalk on the street, and cross in front of the underground only-the-rich-can-afford-to-park-here under-the-bank-lot entrance are weenies.) She breaks away from the pack, me happy to oblige, having learned the value of not being the early bird.
Now, thanks to the further interventions of the fates, she gets stuck holding the door for some faceless drone. Thus I wind up a mere pace or two as we now -- predictably -- approach the same set of upper-floor-only elevators. We pile into the waiting elevator, fourth and sixth, and puch buttons for our floors, me 21, her 23, at basically the same instant, on the two sets of controls. Naturally, we each push back to the edges of the elevator, five in the middle, and one through three in the back, putting us face to face. She breaks first and we share this goofy half-laugh-half-grin and a quick "Hey, it's you again." before the elevator rules kick in and we're forced to be quiet and watch the numbers. I snap-look-check her and catch her doing the same. Another grin and a nice goodbye as I pile off on 21.
Joy! Not only is she beautiful she has fabulous blue eyes, an easy smile, a sense of humor, and she is polite enough to hold the door!
So I spend the rest of the day enveloped in this weird public/private human moment. It is so inconsequential that I never even thought to mention it to anyone, yet I keep coming back to it mentally.
So later we pile out to the garage, in the usual small gang around 5:30pm. We wander off to the garage, and for the first time in maybe a year I can actually remember exactly what floor I parked on. My partners-in-crime head over to the second elevator -- safer, yet so slow my fat ass can out-climb it on the stairs -- but I'm on the old side so I duck in to the death-trap elevator.
Sometimes I think of the death-trap elevator as Lord 'Vater which is now funnier since the newer half of the garage is much better lit, making this one the Dark Side
As I get to the elevator, I look back, and just coming in the the door behind me, from the wrong direction, is the babe! I get to hold the inner door for her and keep the elevator back for her. About 10 hours later, I know the best line should have been, "We've gotta stop meeting like this." But, failing that late inspiration, I come up with a fine second, "What, you again?" She gets on the elevator and wacks the five button, grinning, and turns to me and says, "This is so weird, it's gotta mean something. What floor?"
Since the chances are this rambling crap has numbed your mind, I might remind you at this point that I was parked on five, not her. Basically, my heart has stopped since she has goofed that up. I'm totally bemused. You could have knocked me down with a soft wad of dryer lint.
This turns into my shinning moment here, so I have to bring things down to earth a little and remind you this is a real story and not a BS thing that happend to a third cousin of a guy my landlord knows or anything. I ain't getting laid or anything. No sunbeams or choirs, no angels or trumpets. Just me, a fabo babe, and the line of my life.
"Yeah, it means something." Big smile here, "It means I know you just hit my floor and not your own. You're on three." Smug grin here.
Her turn to be floored. She just gapes at me for a second. Her whole face lights up. She smiles like the like the angels, choirs, trumpets and sunbeams I got gipped out of by this being real life and not a movie. She and I chat about bad memory and how this is first time I've truly remebered my floor, let alone someone else's, in months. Smiles all around as the doors open and she gets out.
What a thing it is to be human. To be so effected by three elevator rides with a woman I've never met. To have my heart swoop and my breath taken away by such little moments. A couple laughs, a few smiles, and I've never felt so alive. If this is simple human contact, god help me if I ever fall in love.
Her name is Angie. We work in the same building, park in the same garage, ride the same elevators. I might see her around once in a long while. And that is just perfectly fine.
Her name is Angie.