In 2016 I wrote a series of tongue in cheek posts about my experiences living on the 3rd floor and trying to befriend those on higher levels, while looking down on the lower levels.
3 years later I still have people asking me when I will post a new elevator story.
Unfortunately for many, I moved to a new apartment building and reached my goal of becoming a top floorer, which meant the stories dried up.
But, just like any popular TV show, I can milk just as much from reruns, so here is my top Elevator Saga posts of 2016 (by top, I mean, all of them). Enjoy
The only slightly negative part of living where I do, is that I am on the 3rd floor, now there is nothing actually wrong with the 3rd (people’s republic of 3rd is best 3rd floor), except when people get in the elevator with you, and they push a higher level, you can tell they are judging you, secretly looking down at you, as soon as you get out of the elevator they are all “oh look at Mr Big Shot 3rd Floor man.”
Well, today I got in with some other people pushed the 3rd floor, and waited to see how much better they were than me, only to have a smile break out as they pushed 2nd floor! I could have been the bigger man, told them it was ok, told them it is not that great up higher, but I didn’t! I judged the crap out of them, judged their 2nd floor clothes, their 2nd floor posture, I even held my breath so I wouldn’t breathe in any 2nd floor air (thanks to my donor for me being able to hold my breath), I looked down my nose at them so hard, they were like ants under my magnifying glass of judgement and my sunlight of scorn. Today was indeed a Good Friday.
Last night some 2nd floorers tried to talk to me in the elevator like they were my equals, pretending they didn’t see me push a button that makes me better than them. Hashtag: The struggle is real.
Exciting news! In the elevator tonight I had a conversation with a 19th floorer, I didn’t even detect a note of pity in their voice, this is it people! They will soon accept me as one of their own, and I will see how the better people live.
Apartment living update: Sorry for the lack of updates on this front, but just like chess, sometimes you have to play the long game. This morning, standing in front of the elevators waiting to get on, as the doors open I spy 3 upper levellers waiting patiently for their metal box decent to end. This is my chance, these 3 better people are stuck with me, time to charm them so hard they will feel compelled to invite me back to the Mount Olympus of Apartment living.
Quick as a flash I size them up, there is a guy in the corner looking at his phone, a girl in gym gear, and a lady in business attire, I decided my best course of action is to show I can relate to them on their level, get them to realise I am one of them, and I know about current trends.
“SHOWTIME!” I think to myself as I step into the elevator with a huge smile
“Hi guys” I say with the perfect mixture of energy and quiet respect.
Turn to the guy
“How about that Pokemon game, caught any Pikachus yet?”
Quickly focus on business lady
“Thank fudge for makeup, that Mac brand is a lifesaver know what I’m saying?”
Spin round to charm the final boss of the elevator triads, fitness girl.
” How fun is mindlessly walking on a treadmill for hours on end without ever picking up a weight or breaking a sweat, amiright?”
Booom nailed it, I take a step back so can bask in their combined admiration and get ready for the onslaught of conversation that will come my way.
That’s ok, some times people are so overwhelmed by my charm they are speechless, just wait a bit longer.
Still nothing, something is wrong, I respectfully try and make eye contact, then it hit me, like a bucket of freezing cold acid, as I looked into their cold dead eyes, I didn’t see the admiration and camaraderie I expected, all I could see was indifference and sadness, like they are a grey blob in a world of vibrant hues, they were, dare I say, unhappy, and somehow, were not impressed by how incredible I am.
Thankfully the doors opened, and they slowly shuffled off to their dreary lives, leaving me alone to lick my wounds and contemplate where I went wrong.
I am sorry this isn’t the victorious story of how The Enlightened started gushing and made me their king, but every story has its conflicts, and everyone who tries to raise their status faces some setbacks, I am planning my next move, soon I will be on top people, I promise.
When it rains, it pours.
Walking to the elevator this morning, see a guy with his approx 6 year old boy (not a biologist can’t tell exact ages without cutting them open and counting the rings), seen them a few time, always exchange pleasantries, kid seems nice but super quiet and shy, say hi, general chit chat while waiting for elevator.
Elevator arrives, doors open, it is filled with stuffy upper levellers on their way to whatever magical place they all work at, probably some kind of marshmallow factory, I am still hurt by their treatment of me the other day, so I decide to show them I am not that easy, I give them the silent treatment, they will come crawling back.
The elevator starts to descend then stops,
“Level 2” states the monotone female robotic voice.
Great, now I have to put up with the stench of some mouth breathing level 2ers, can’t they just jump off their damn balcony? Do level 2ers even have balconies?
The doors open to reveal a removalist standing in front of us with a big ass armchair, there is a moment of quiet tension where he is looking at us trying to figure out how to squeeze himself and the rat-infested level 2 chair onto the lift, while we all look at him, secretly praying he doesn’t figure out a way.
Meanwhile, the young lad from my floor has edged forward to get a better view, he looks the removalist up and down, and without warning, suddenly yells “JESUS CHRIST!!” Everyone’s eyes go wide with surprise, the removalist takes a step back the see the small kid better, the doors slowly closed, everyone is silent while the dad starts to tell the youngin why he shouldn’t say stuff like that, I am sure the message would have sunk in more, if it wasn’t accompanied by the background noise of me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, and repeatedly saying, “that was hilarious, did you guys hear that?” I continued to laugh until the ground floor where most people disembarked while giving me somewhat disgusted looks.
I may not have mended my relationship with the high dwellers, but damn it, when I get up there, that kid and his family are coming with me.
Awkward elevator encounter
Coming home from work, I need to stop at Woolies (yes we have a Woolies and a Dominos in our complex, don’t be hating), as I get closer to my building I hear some raised voices in the lobby, as soon as I walk in, there is just silence, my eagle-like eyesight spots two people, a man and a woman, I am assuming are dating, standing near the elevators.
Both of them look at me as I enter, but don’t say anything, dude keeps staring, looking at me like he just caught me in some weird 3 way involving his girlfriend and his favourite childhood stuffed toy, a mixture of anger and disgust at my sheer existence. I can feel a bit of tension, so I decide to diffuse it.
“Hey bro, how’s it going?” I ask with my best used car salesman smile, he can’t hate on me now, I called him bro.
“Good” was the surly reply from captain moody.
This guy is clearly the wordsmith in his family.
Glance over to his female counterpart, she is also staring at me, the mixture of emotions that dance across her face you would think I just complimented her on her moustache. Decide not to say anything, just wait for the lift, and try to ignore the tension that is thicker than a peanut butter and marshmallow pool.
Starting humming a little tune that sounded eerily similar to, ” what is love, baby don’t hurt me”, dudebro speaks, “hey.”
Ha, I knew it, I knew they couldn’t resist my charms.
“Yeah?” I reply nonchalantly, gotta play it cool.
“We aren’t waiting for the elevator.”
Dafuq? So these people were having a fight and thought the best place to do it was right in the lobby, in front of the elevators.
“Oh boy, well this is awkward, don’t you hate it when you are just standing in a lobby in front of the lifts, and some jackass just assumes you are waiting for it, I guess I will just push the button then.”
At this point, I start rambling
“Yep pushed the button, the old buttereno, it’s weird that the light doesn’t come on when you push it, have you guys noticed that? Yeah you guys seem pretty switched, and also slightly angry at the world, the elevator should be here any minute now, although we do have a lot of levels here, like a lot, I bet you guys are first floorers though (take that jerks)”
Hop in the elevator, say goodbye to my new friends, as the doors close and the lift starts to ascend all I hear from the lobby is, “WELL IF THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, GO AHEAD AND FUCKING DO IT, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT.”
Yep, I think they liked me.
So there I was waiting for the lift to come and take me away from the stench of ground dwellers up to my third story palace, when in walks this guy, who looked like Ted Mosby and an egg had sex, and he was the unholy offspring, of this incomprehensible union.
The outfit of blue flanno over a dark tee, and ripped black jeans with brown wingtips, gave the impression he was unsure if he wanted to be in a grungy rock band from Seattle, or an extra in Brokeback Mountain 2: The Mud Road.
Despite the conflicting attire, the way he carried himself made me think he was definitely an upper floorer, he had a glint in his eye that showed he hadn’t been crushed by his low social standing and the weight of all those people living above him. This was my moment, I could help him, show him how to dress, so people didn’t stare at him wondering if he wanted groupies or wanted to be a groupie.
“Hey” I say with just a hint of respect, but still showing him, I can run with the big dogs.
A curt nod in reply, damn son, this dude is easily level 17, he is like ice, sure he dresses like a smacked out meth addict rolling in a pile of clothes in the Lowes returns bin, but still, I am going to have to turn up my game.
*Ding* elevator arrives
“Ok Ash you have 3 floors to offer him some help, don’t be rude about it, you got this,” I say to my self.
“After you mate ” I call him mate to establish familiarity.
“Thanks” he squeaks, I just figured out why the curt nod before.
The strange thing is, as I enter the lift I notice the smell of mediocrity is not clearing, it is just as strong as outside the elevator, as Kurt Gyllenhaal, reaches up to swipe his pass and select his floor I suddenly get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, time slows down, I can hear and feel my heartbeat as if it is the very heartbeat of Mother Earth.
“No no no no no no, don’t let it be” I say to myself, as I watch in horror, powerless to change the scene that is unfolding right in front of me.
*Beep* Level 2.
My world starts to spin, like the first time you watch Fight Club (spoilers) and you realise Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person, it rocks you back in your seat, all the clues were there, but you were too blind to see it.
I was just nice to a 2nd floorer, I treated him like a person, I even called him mate, this smug bastard tricked me into acknowledging his existence, and doesn’t even have the to decency to prostrate himself in front of me, or offer to kneel down so I can sit down after a hard day of being better than him. No, he sits there with a stupid 2nd-floor grin, like he is too simple to realise he is in the presence of greatness? Oh crap, I was even breathing the same air as him, “quick Ash hold your breath”.
“Level 2” The sexy robotic voice informs us
The doors open and Eddie Ledger walks out without even saying goodbye, or thanking me for acknowledging his existence. The doors close behind him, and I am left stewing in my own fury.
And that kids is the story of how I met my nemesis.
When I shared my dreams, you laughed and mocked me.
When I promised you I would do it, you hurled insults, telling me I wasn’t good enough.
When I stood tall and dared to try, you dragged me back down.
But the sound of your gnashing teeth and the sting of your words drove me on, made me more determined.
It was YOU who lit the fire in my belly, it was YOU who kept feeding it.
Now, it is an inferno, burning away everything that held me back.
I am free from your bonds of disbelief and negativity, I have borne the brunt of your dark words, and I have emerged victorious!
From tomorrow, dear reader, I am happy to announce, I. AM. A. 15TH. FLOORER, hear me roarer.