Taking the Stairs

I ran into a ghost recently as I was riding an elevator and it is from this encounter that I have decided I will never ride an elevator again!

Of course I am kidding but let me break this down for you.

  1. I am not a huge fan of elevators in the first place. All the weird creaky noises they make freak me out.
  2. I am certainly not a huge fan of running into ghosts. Small talk is painful with people I like, small talk with a ghost – I would rather have eye surgery.
  3. This is not the first time this has happened to me. It is not even the second. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME IN MY LIFE I HAVE BEEN STUCK ON AN ELEVATOR WITH A GHOST!

I mean this would be a lot of people’s worst social nightmare right?! It is like the awkward social version of the naked in public nightmare. And I feel fairly certain that most people could go their entire lives and not have nightmares like this ever realized.. But not me. Oh no not me. I am apparently a magnet for awkward social encounters.

So I was riding the elevator, the doors open and on walks my ghost. The last two times this thing happened to me I noticed the person before they noticed me, this time I did not notice my ghost at all. They look different from when I last saw them. I was trying to do the math, I think the last time we talked was February of ’08. I was in crisis over a situation with my ex, the “relationship” was ending for like the third time and I definitely remember this person being there for me through it. Looking back it, I kind of hate that the last time we talked was associated with that situation, I am so thankful they did not bring the past up.

So there  I am staring down at my phone, I was reading an email, and all of the sudden someone says my name completely snapping me out of cell phone induced daze. Huh? I looked up and in front of me stood this person who I knew that I knew but they looked just different enough that it took me a second to register. The whole thing was super disorienting.Once I figured out what was going on I realized they were talking to me, asking questions, waiting for answers. Oh yeah yeah, wow, great to see you. Um yeah, I’m married. No, not working now, finishing up grad school. Yeah, thanks, social work. How about you?

This is the actual worst. I was so flooded by confusion and panic I could barely think straight. I am pretty sure they told me they had one or two, maybe 6 kids. I don’t know. They were focused more on asking me questions, that was probably because I was too stunned to reciprocate. Soon enough we had reached my destination and I jumped off with a quick mumbled good bye.

The thing is with this particular ghost, there is no bad blood there. We just lost touch over time. I am literally just this awkward. It’s not that I hated running into them, I just hated running into them like that. I hated the surprise component, I hated being trapped. There is too much going on that is out of my control and then on top of all of it I feel like I have to be “on” with no warning. I can’t go from reading an email and being in absolute introvert mode to social butterfly like that. I need time for transition, I need to build up to it.

The last two times this happened it was with my ex’s then girlfriend, now wife. Again, she and I do not have bad blood directly. She and I have never had any issues but he and I sure as hell did so that energy was present plus all this other stuff I can’t process – the element of surprise, the being trapped together in a small space. Shit man, I mean this is absolutely awful. How does this keep happening to me? -Please know I am laughing as I say this, I am definitely able to see the humor in all of it.

So yeah, I think I am going to avoid elevators for like the next 5 or 6 years just in case this is some kind of cosmic pattern that I am stuck in where every 5 or 6 years I get trapped in an elevator by a ghost. I mean taking the stairs is better for me anyway right?

Learn from my horror stories and be careful on elevators folks, you never know who is going to get on.


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