Sunday, 28 October 2007

Going Up

4th floor
middle-aged office clerk, hiding a
small schnauzer in her
brown trench coat

6th floor
lab tech, spends the day
cutting up dead things
writes life into them at night

9th floor
single mom, teacher
finds time to sing Motown
while doing dishes

10th floor
exchange student, wonders why
all look so intent on
not looking

11th floor
young suit, accidentally caught
a glimpse of his roommate in the shower
accidentally enjoyed it

12th floor
would-be astronomer, has mapped
all the Mares and Mons of the
business major across the street

14th floor
poet, passes same nice guy
in the hall every day
always genuinely surprised to pass him.


I was intending to post something completely different today, but when I was flipping through the notebook looking for the one I had in mind this one caught my eye instead.

This poem is based very loosely on the apartment building I lived in when I was in university. It's hard not to see the same people in the elevator every day without wondering just a little bit about what goes on behind the blank faces staring at the door and pretending not to pay attention to anyone else around them.

We act so strangely in elevators. Don't you think?

The floor number choices are, for the most part, arbitrary. I did put the happy person on (cloud) nine on purpose, and the poet definitely needed to have her head in the clouds. Oh, and there's no floor thirteen just because my building didn't have one.

And yes, I sneaked myself onto that elevator as well. Which floor? Well, one or two people out there might be able to guess. It doesn't really matter in the end, though.

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