Thursday, October 9, 2014


Elevators are so commonplace. I have always regarded them as necessary appendages of modernity. Traversing heights on foot is difficult and laborious, besides being time consuming. Elevators are convenient. In gathering together gravity they defy it. Weighted with human density, laden with human presence they rise up with the mechanism propelling them moving subterraneanly behind. I have no particular regard nor any disdain for the elevator contraption. It is there, to be used when it needs to be.

Rushing from my appointment with the psychoanalyst that day i tapped my foot impatiently while waiting for the elevator. There was a moment when i thought i could just use the stairs. But the prospect of climbing seven floors was, though not impossible, certainly wearisome. I was tired. I had had an exhausting one hour session. Repressed material had surfaced and i had cringed at the thought of the tenebrous spaces in my mind, which were dark enough to warrant deep discomfiture.

I boarded the elevator. The flourescent tube glowed wanly as the sunlight intersected with it as the door of the elevator stood open. The doors shut and a dull, pale light irradiated the interior, a light reminiscent of neon lights in the night, with the same functional enervation. I glanced at my dishevelled countenance in the mirror. I was flushed, self conscious. I was distinctly uncomfortable. My mind was in a state of frenetic numbness. It conveyed, perhaps as an accompaniment to the feelings of claustration i had recently experienced , a disquiet that at once rose up, like gorge, in my mind, conspicuous and then receded, leaving in its nothingness a vestigial fear.

A further glance in the mirror showed my dilated pupils and the look of unmitigated naked fear in my eyes. The claustrophobic elevator closed in upon me. It seemed to bulge inwards, squeezing my cranium tight, tight, tighter. My eyes protruded, my mind began, under this squeezing pressure to send shafts of pain up and down my body. Malodorous remnants of the morning coffee surfaced through my oesophagus. I saw stars, dancing stars, a whirling kaleidoscope where i was a vertiginously disembodied presence, floating in mid air.

I oscillated between this feeling of circumscription and oblivion of release until, unable to bear the pressure of their unceasing interplay i passed out. Waking up in my house, in the presence of concerned neighbours, alleviated the infernal journey i had survived.

But that day forthwith i made two irrevocable decisions. I quit psychoanalysis and i started using the stairs. 

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