Monday, January 16, 2012

Button Envy

On a long weekend in Singapore several years ago, we stayed in our first true sky-scraper. At the time our room on the 24th floor seemed magical, but better than the room was the elevator ride up to our floor. It wasn't the normal viewless journey, but a ride in an external elevator--where we able to see the city unfold below us as we climbed into the sky. Each time I rode the elevator my focus was towards the outside. I never noticed who got off where, and never even paid attention to those that got to stay on past our floor--heading dozens of stories above us. 
Ever since moving into a high-rise in Perth, my elevator experience has been much different. Rather than excitement and awe, the tiny cramped space is filled with tension. Perhaps, the negative energy is the result of living in the heart of the CBD-an environment that breeds constant stress. But still, I can't help but feel it is something more, maybe the little green monster of apartment living?
It doesn't seem to matter with whom I am standing with in the foyer (professional, tradesman, housewife, or student) the minute they walk into the elevator their gaze shifts to the control panel, and it stays glued there until each and every person has presented their fob and entered their floor. 
Since I find staring at the same numbers, several times a day, a bit mundane I've taken to watching those around me. I love to see who anxiously rushes towards the panel--usually those that live on higher floors. I've notice that when a higher number button is pushed it usually causes a slight flair of the nose or a snarl from those that live on the lower floors. There are also occasions when a button near the top is pushed, but it does not light up.  A small grin presents itself on most riders lips, only to quickly turn to a frown when the second time around it takes. When the elevator comes to a halt on the single digit levels, those who must exit the vessel in quietly slink out the door. 
Since we live in the sub-sub-penthouse I am never too fussed about keying in, after all there isn't a whole lot above us. On the rare occasion that my ride coincides with the Lady from the top-instead of a sneer, I give her a chat up, after all I am dying to be invited over for tea so I can see the amazing multi-floored home that sits at the top of my world. However, I will admit that in less than a year I have come to understand the power that our position high above the mighty Swan River has given me. Though I am surprised that such prestige can come with the simple push of a button.

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