Going Up

I have this recurring nightmare. I’m in an elevator alone when, suddenly and without explanation, it begins to plummet at a high rate of speed. So fast, in fact, that I must have ridden it to the 1000th floor because it just keeps dropping further and further. I stand in the elevator and I think about how inconvenient it i s going to be to die this way.

In some dreams the elevator suddenly jerks to the side and take a terrifying tumble to nowhere at all. It actually spins sideways and I start to really freak out but, only in that way where you’re paralyzed with fear and on the outside you look like what is going on is so boring, like when your wife tells you about her work problems or points out someone on the street and tells you that he goes to her library and that she’s pretty sure that he’s the same guy that shit on the lawn just outside the staff room window.

Most recently, I have dreamed that in the middle of a long and fearful fall through space in this horrid and rickety elevator, it stops and shoots upward. It gains speed and I know I’m going to crash through the roof of this building and into the waiting abyss, only to fall again in a cruel twist of fate, all the while thinking to myself, Who would do such a thing to me? Why would I be the one person in the world who is killed when an elevator so freakishly loses control that it blasts through a rooftop and then slams to the ground? I begin to have those feelings of, Well, of course this would happen to me. With my luck? This could only ever happen to me. In real life I say that stuff to myself all the time, in what I think might be some leftover guilt scraps from my Catholic childhood that I’ll likely never shake.

At work today I elected to take a short walk to another fairly new building to deliver some documents. The office was on the 34th floor and until I got into the elevator and it started to speed upwards so efficiently, I didn’t mind the ride. It took maybe 30 long seconds to reach my destination and each one had me gripping the railing tighter and tighter because I wasn’t totally convinced the elevator wasn’t going to shoot out of the rooftop and send me into the skyline of downtown Seattle. It made me think of the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and the final scene in which Charlie, Wonka and Grandpa Joe get into the Wonkavator and blast through the factory roof and sail over the city. Maybe for Charlie that trip was the culmination of his heart’s desire. But if you ask me, had Willy Wonka shot me through a roof in a glass elevator, I would said, “Fuck chocolate and fuck you!” before I punched him in the neck.

*****

A while back I mentioned my excitement over seeing Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Tonight I am finally going to see it with Janie and my friends. This is very exciting. I’m not even swayed by the fact that it’s gotten many shitty reviews. Because I love me some Cate Blanchett.