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Elevator Memories

by Huste

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Standing in front of elevator doors is not my favorite thing to do. Just wasting time I don’t


have to waste. I need to get out of this crowded mess of folks and back to Little Dixie where it’s


civilized. But the stupid doors won’t ever open. Patience is something that I usually have an


abundance of except when I’m in a city. Then my patience begins to wear thin. The ding of the


elevator bell brings me back to reality and the doors open to reveal the elevators three occupants


staring out.



      I enter the floating room that’s no bigger than a hat box and see that the first floor button is


lit. I take my place with my back to the wall and wait some more. Being an inconspicuous as I am


able, I see Bubba businessman, Freddy freak, and a very pregnant lady that could drop her load at


any minute. Everyone is staring at their shoes like they are all praying. Nobody saying a sound.


The jerk of the floating room gives the impression we are all going to our destination. From the


23rd floor to the first floor shouldn’t take too long. Hopefully.



      The floating room I’m in is decorated with phony wood trim around the lower half of the


walls with red and gold velvet cloth or paper continuing to the ceiling. The ceiling is paneled with


what looks like gypboard full of holes. One fluorescent light in the center of the ceiling creates the


false impression of security. If that light goes out we’re in real darkness. “What’s the matter Tex,


never seen a light like that before?” Bubba businessman says with a sneer.



      I look down on him staring up at me with an arrogant smile across his pale, clean shaven,


babies butt smooth face. His close cropped perfectly styled hair, blue-green eyes, and half


cocked head show his attitude to be egotistical. I look at the pregnant lady and she’s still looking at


her shoes. Freddy’s staring at me. Looking back at Bubba, I give him what he wants, “Nope.


Where I come from electricity isn't been invented yet. We still have real light from the sun and at


night if the stars and moon don’t show, it’s dark.” Then he gets my patented smart ass half grin.


“No need to be defensive Tex. I just noticed you were staring at the light. That’s all.” Bubba


said as he shrugged his shoulders and went back to staring at his shoes.



      “No electricity in Hicksville huh?” Freddy grinned showing his somewhere between brown


and yellow teeth. His teeth, pock-marked face, dull brown eyes, and spiked hair along with the


older than Gods mother clothes made Freddy real forgetful. He kept staring at me waiting for a


comment. I just stared back until the teeth disappeared behind the nonexistent lips and he went


back to watching his holey tennis shoes. “Just bein’ friendly.” he whispered more to himself than





      Bubba was watching for my reaction. “First” staring at Bubba in a lower voice than before,


“I ain’t from Texas. I’m from Oklahoma and my name is 5cloud. Moses 5cloud.” Then I looked at


Freddy “And I ain’t from Hicksville. I’m from Little Dixie. We have electricity.”


“Nice to meet you Mr. 5cloud.” The pregnant lady had a soothing voice with a small quiver


to it. Probably due to the tone of my voice. “My name is Dora. Dora Faye. I’m from here in


Chicago.” She grinned shy like and ducked her head again.



      “Pleased to meet ya ma’am. When is your youngun due?” I asked in my most polite, unharsh





      Before she could answer there was a sudden jolt and the elevator just quit. No movement.




      Bubba, Freddy and Dora let out a groan that was surprisingly on the same key.


“Damn it, I hate these stupid elevators.” Bubba bellowed as he kicked the phony wood wall


with his heel. “Where’s the damned phone?” He opened the door where the phone was supposed


to be. “Shit. Wouldn’t ya know it. These stupid elevators never have a phone!! HEY!! HEY CAN


ANYBODY HEAR ME?!” He hollered as loud as he could.



      “HELP US. WE’RE STUCK IN HERE!! GET US OUT!!” Freddy began to chime in with





      I looked at Dora and she was staring at the door now. She had lost interest in her shoes and


was fixed on the door. Staring at it as if she was willing the door to open. A little fear in her eyes


and concern on her face didn’t seem normal for someone of her nature.



      “As I was asking ma’am, when’s your youngun due?” Trying to take her mind off the stalled





      She looked up at me and said in a concerned voice “Any time. I just left the doctor's office


and he told me to get to the hospital. I’m supposed to be checking in now. The baby could be


coming at any time.” Then her fear began to rise after she had heard what she said. Sometimes


saying something out loud can bring reality to unspoken thoughts.



      Bubba and Freddy stared at her. Freddy said “You’re gonna have the baby right now?” His


eyes began to grow wider and what little bit of a jaw he had dropped exposing those teeth again.


“Just hold your water lady. I got a cell phone here. I’ll call for help.” Bubba said. He began


fumbling in his pocket for the phone and dialed.



      “Dora, there’s nothing to be worried about.” I said in a monotone voice. She stared up at me


with a question on her face. “I haven’t delivered a baby before and wasn’t planning on starting


now, but if the need arises, I’m sure instinct will take over and everything will be alright. How you


feeling now?” Sometimes stress or sudden shock causes people to cramp up and get nervous


enough to do things they wouldn’t normally do. I didn’t know if she was up tight enough to drop


the kid right here and now or not. But I wanted to know what to expect from her should the need





      “I feel fine. Now aches or pains yet.” She said as she stepped closer to me and away from


Freaky Freddy and Bubba businessman.



      Bubba was on the phone with somebody explaining that the elevator had stopped and he had


to get to an appointment in 15 minutes and they had to get somebody to come fix the elevator.


Never did mention Dora and her situation. “Somebody will be here to fix the damn thing shortly.


Hope I don’t miss my meeting.”



      “I get really, really nervous in elevators and small places.” Freddy said in a shaky voice.


“I’m claustrophobic.” He was a wee bit concerned now. He looked at me with pleading eyes and


wrinkled brow.



      “Nothing to be concerned about. I’m claustrophobic too. I just think about other things


when I get in a situation like this. Mostly I think about things I like most. Unless there is a situation


at hand that requires my attention. Then I think about that.” I lied. I’m not claustrophobic but I


didn’t think Freddy needed to know that now. Sometimes having a friend in the same boat as you


helps. “And right now, Ms. Dora might need all the attention I can muster being as she’s in her


delicate condition.” I shifted my glance to her and saw she was swapping stares between me and


the elevator doors. “Why don’t you sit down Ms. Dora and try to get comfortable? Might ease you


a little.” Freddy and I helped her sit down on the putrid green indoor-outdoor carpet with black


diamond shapes on it.



      “Where’s the damned maintenance man at? I got a meeting in 10 minutes.” Bubba moaned.


I glared at Bubba. “Hoss, why don’t you get on your cell phone there and call your buddy


you called a while ago and explain to him we got a pregnant lady in here that may be fixing to


deliver at any minute. That might speed things up a tad.” He was looking at me with confusion on


his face. I did come across a little harsh and brutal, but if all he cared about was his infernal


meeting when there was more important things at hand, I figured he needed a little wake up call to


reality. “NOW, you jackass” I hollered. He snapped back and called.



      “Come on kid, sit down and take a load off. May be a while before the mechanic gets here.”


I tried to ease his mind about his predicament.



      “OK.” was all Freddy could find to say.



      “Back in Little Dixie, we have a spot where we go to think things through. It’s on top of the


Kiamichi ridge beside a pine tree that must be 400 years old. Rumor has it, this place was used by


the Choctaw for Spirit Quest. That’s when a boy of 13 or 14 goes to get guidance from the spirits


on what his life will be like. Ya know, what he’s supposed to do with his life.” I looked at Freddy


and Dora to see if I had their attention. They were looking and listening, but not really paying


attention. “The young Indian boys would go to this spot and sit there for 3 to 4 days without eating


or drinking anything. After a while they would have a vision. In this vision, the spirit would give


them guidance on what they should do to become a man and possibly what to do with their life.”



      “You mean like ghosts or somethin’?” Freddy asked all interested.



      “Yea kid, ghosts. You’re real bright.” Bubba said in a smart ass tone.



      “Sort of like ghosts. Except spirits only visit ya when your body is purified. If ya don’t eat or


drink for a while, like 3 or 4 days, your body and mind enter a condition where it is more


accepting of hearing and seeing spirits.”



      “In the real world it’s called hallucinations kid. Ya don’t eat, ya don’t drink, ya see things


and it is dangerous for your health.” Bubba remarked.



      I just looked up at Bubba to let him know that he wasn’t helping and would get his later.


“That’s what the white eyes call it. To the natives, it is a very sacred and traditional ceremony that


all boys must go through to reach manhood.” I glanced at Dora and she was paying close attention.


Whether she was interested in the story or just keeping her mind off her own possible situation, I


don’t know. Really didn’t care as long as it worked.



      “This place I’m speaking of where we go to think, is the top of a ridge facing north. There is


a valley below that stretches for 10 miles east and west. There is a big lake on the east end that is


surrounded by pines and spruce. In the fall of the year, around the end of October or the first of


November, when the leaves start changing colors, if you sit there long enough you can see deer


drinking from the lake. When the leaves are at their peak and really showing their colors, it looks


like God dipped his paint brush in all the colors he has and just slung that brush all over the valley


below. Any color you can imagine and some you never even thought of are all in the valley. At


night right before the suns sets completely, you can see what seems like a million colors reflecting


off the lake. When it gets real dark, you can hear the coyotes calling and the wolves howling.”


      “Yippe, a real trip through the country while we are stuck here in this damn elevator.”


Bubba remarked.



      The elevator shook and started slowly descending. Freddy and I helped Dora back on her


feet. They both looked relieved and gave me a relieved thank you look. I stood up and just stared


at Bubba while he tried to avoid my cold expression. Finally the first floor light lit up and the


elevator stopped.



      I stepped over in front of Bubba and blocked his path so that Ms. Dora and Freddy could be


the first ones out of the little floating room. They probably needed some fresh air. And besides, I


waned to make Bubba wait.



      The doors opened to a water fountain in a corridor where a group of people were standing


impatiently waiting to board the elevator. They started to crowd in even before we began to exit.


“HOLD IT” I said to get their attention. “We got a pregnant lady in here that is going to get out


before anybody gets in.” I could feel Bubba trying to edge past me so I pushed back a little harder


to let him know he was gonna be last out. The mob stepped back to let Ms. Dora and Freddy out.


When they were out, I stepped forward and “accidentally” slammed my elbow into Bubba's


stomach. He let out a low groan and bent forward. “Coming through with a sick man here. Step


back please so we can get through.” I announced as I put my arm around Bubbas shoulder and


pushed him out of the elevator. It worked really well. People couldn’t get out of the way fast


enough. I accidentally on purpose tripped and pushed Bubba into the water fountain in the middle


of the corridor. Going head first in the fountain soaked him from top to bottom. I laid on the floor


and watched the spectacle and inwardly grinned at the sight. The crowd watched Bubba go


swimming, me lay on the floor, and then started boarding the little floating room. I got up slowly


and walked over to Freddy and Ms. Dora who were standing by the wall, mouths open, eyes wide


not believing what they had seen. I looked at Bubba sitting belly button deep in water and said in


my most sincere, apologetic voice “Sorry, Bubba. I must have tripped on my way out.” And I