Writing, Reading, and Smiling . . . It's Contagious.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Show and Tell

I could have said “I was riding in an elevator and didnt get off at the first floor,” but I didnt.

Going Down?

Stale cigarette smoke consumes the remaining oxygen while whining Charlie Brown voices from outside vibrate this empty tin can. A tattered sign smaller than a three-by-five card leers at me, its precise black type shouting “I expired eight months ago. Dead. Extinct. That’s what it says. I chew my lip, wondering if Ill be able to escape this teal-floored prison.

The mechanical whir of the silver doors makes me stand a little straighter and brush imaginary lint from my sweater. The doors part like armed guards, allowing another prisoner to join my makeshift world. A surge of aftershave sets my nose on fire, announcing his arrival. A student in his early twenties glances in my direction before grabbing the handrail along the wall. He doesn’t know this, but he has intruded upon my three feet of personal space. If he would allow his gray eyes to wander to the floor he would notice the six-by-six tiles. He is three squares away from me. That’s only one and a half feet. Instead, my fellow inmate shuffles his feet, nearly stepping on the floor-length leather coat enveloping his lanky frame. He shoves his hand into the pocket and twitches the coat as if to sweep away the film of dust that clings to the floor. He grins at me and cocks his head. “You all going down, or what?” 

I don’t answer.

Fingers sink into his flattop and scratch. “Just like the way the elevator makes you feel, huh?”

I laugh and say that I’ll go to the first floor if he does. 

The steel giant opens and a blast of chilled air swirls around my legs. My cellmate moves as if to let me pass. I grasp the handrail firmly. He shrugs and crosses into the world of red and purple shag carpet while I remain in the four-by-nine metal box, its marbled walls and black stripes protecting me. 


As always, I love to hear from you. If you’re in the cyber-neighborhood, drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It’s contagious.



Post a Comment