Going Up


  I’m in the elevator with a box of supplies in my arms, humming the baseline to a jet set radio tune as I watch the LED digits above me tick away the basement floors, coming to a stop as B1 ticks over to G. The doors slide open with a ping and November Steakhouse walks in. I stop humming.

  A stunned silence – my stunned silence – fills the elevator as November pushes a button and the doors close once more. The elevator lurches only slightly as we begin our ascent.

  I am in a confined space with the girl of my dreams. I am freaking out a little.

  For the first few floors I’m dumbfounded, trying to think of things to say but unable to think of a word – literally unable to think of a single word. My mother tongue falls away and all that’s left is white noise blaring in my head space. Then I come out with this:

  “What are you doing here?”
  god damn it
  “Excuse me?” she replies.
  “I mean…”
  pregnant pause
  “…what are you doing here?"”

  She looks at me like I’m an idiot. I am an idiot, but still.
  “I’ve got an interview here,” she eventually replies, a cocked eyebrow assuring me I’m still a crazy person.
  “But you already have a job.” I say quickly without thinking.
  “Do I know you or something?”
  The floors can’t tick away fast enough.
  “Oh uh,” I stutter, “yeah, well, no- I mean, you make my sandwiches every day.”
  “Sorry,” she says, “I make a lot of sandwiches for a lot of people, buddy”
  “Yeah totally,” I reply, “you’re really good at it. Why are you applying here?”
  “I’m bored.” She looks like she’s easing into the conversation a little bit, more relaxed now the stalker card is retreating.
  “So who’s going to make my sandwiches?” I ask. Am I trying to be funny?
  “My sandwiches, who’s going to make them?”
  “No idea.”
  “That’s an irresponsible approach to your patrons well-beings.”
  The coked eyebrow returns.
  “The new girl. She’ll do it.”
  “Is she good?”
  “She’s awesome.” She’s getting the hang of this whole talking to an idiot thing.
  “What’s her name?”
  “I dunno man, – December?”
  I stare blankly at her and she laughs and I realise it’s a joke so I laugh too. Is this going as badly as I think it’s going, because I think it’s going pretty badly.

  We come to a stop and she says “this is me” and begins to leave.
  “Good luck,” I call after her.
  “Thanks, man.” She replies, walking away.

  The doors close with a ping.


~ by Joseph Blame on October 6, 2010.

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