Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Elevator Ride

The elevator door opened and I jumped back scared shitless. There was a man... an old man crumbled over on the floor his walker inches away from him. I called out to him,”Are you okay?” He didn’t respond and from where I stood he didn’t seem to be breathing, not that I had any intention on getting close enough to check. Hey i’m a social work major people my heffa Jackie is the mortuary science major, dead people are right up her alley.

“Mia what’s wrong?” my mom asked several times. Despite the fact that in my mind I was screaming “DEAD MAN!” I was actually speechless, the mouth was willing but the vocal cords weren’t cooperating. Trust me people that is a very rare thing indeed. In fact there are quite a few people out there in the world that would pay mega dollars to see me struck speechless. I pointed towards the elevator, “Ma I think there’s a dead guy in there.” As mom stepped forward to check it out the door slammed shut and the elevator started to make its way up. Mom quickly reached over for the button to bring the elevator back down . Just then we were joined by a teen girl and a guy. When the elevator arrived ma stuck her head in called out to the man and when she got no response she got in and checked on him, she then instructed me to call an ambulance.

What happened next goes down in the annals of WTF history. Despite the fact that there was a dead man on the floor of the elevator the teen and the man got in and pressed for their floors. I was shocked WTF? When did people become so apathetic? They didn’t even take a second glance at the man as if dead men riding elevators was a common thing. Ma’s plan had been to hold the elevator until the ambulance arrived but these two people were having none of it. This was the only working elevator on our side of the complex and they weren’t about to walk up the stairs even if it meant having to ride with a dead man. Mom shrugged her shoulders and called my dad. She told him to meet us on our floor so he could shut the elevator down until the ambulance arrived . Years ago dad had been given the spare key to the elevator bank by management just in case of an emergency. Ma told him she didn’t want the dead man going up and down just to accommodate thoughtless people who were too lazy to take the stairs despite the fact that our elevator had become the dead express..

As she talked to my father ma gestured for me to come in. I hesitated and shook my head now shooting a quick glance at the dead passenger. "Get in here I’m going to need you to hold the elevator if you’re dad is not by the door. Besides it’s the living you have to be afraid of the dead are harmless.” ma said as she reached over and yanked me in. As I stepped past the dead guy I said sorry and excuse me. It seemed wrong just to walk by him and not give him the same courtesy I would to the living. By the time we got to the last floor our floor it was just ma, the dead guy and me. The other occupants had gotten off several floor below us.

It turned out my dad knew the guy, he was a tenant’s brother. The gentleman was terminally ill with cancer and had moved to NY to live out what life he had left in the care of his sister. My dad decided to take the elevator back down to the lobby to make it easier for the ambulance and then left my brother guarding the body while he took the stairs to let the man’s sister know what was going on. As the elevator made it’s way back down to the lobby my mom yelled out for “William hurry up that poor man must be tired of riding up and down. This elevator is not the express to heaven you know!"

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