Elevator, October 8, 2011

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


«archive page

Share:



Elevator

Listen (MP3)

GK: I met you on an elevator many years ago. October. I was standing in the lobby of the Medical Arts Building and you walked up and stood just behind me and the elevator came and you got on the elevator and pressed ten. I pressed six, which was where my urologist's office was, but the moment I saw you I wished I were going to ten. You were shy and so beautiful. Long brown skirt and a white blouse and a vest made of Indian carpet. It was a slow elevator. And we stood and watched the numerals light up over the door, two and three and four, a moment of great intensity.

And when it stopped at six you said to me, this is six
And I didn't want to say goodbye just yet. I said, My mistake. I'm going to ten.
So I stayed on and rode up to ten
and you went into an internist's.

It was awkward. I waited in the hall, I had my choice of oral surgery, gynecology, or geriatrics. I walked along the hall looking up at the ceiling like I was an inspector, not wanting to seem like a stalker, but I was stalking you. And then two minutes later you came out. You said, Hi. And pressed the down button. You said, I had the wrong day. I said, It happens. I said, I thought my appointment was noon but actually it was two o'clock.

GK: We rode down together in silence in that slow elevator and I realized the moment had passed when I could have said, Let's have lunch or something. I should've said it up on the eighth floor, the moment I said I had two hours to kill. I could've said, Let's have lunch then, or let me get you lunch, or let's go for a walk. It would've just seemed impulsive, but now it would feel weird, like I had something in mind, so we came down past four and three and two.

You said, Well, have a beautiful day. I said, You too.

I held the elevator door for you and you brushed past me. Did you mean to touch me then? I think you did. Your skirt brushed the back of my hand and away you went through the marble lobby and out onto Nicollet Avenue. Did you look back? I thought you did as you went through the revolving door and out onto the street.

I stood there, wondering if by some miracle you'd come back, but of course you didn't. And now it's years later. I don't think about you so often. Just in the fall. October. The quality of the light. I went back to the Medical Arts Building once and thought of you again and imagined you'd get off an elevator and we'd say Hi I know you and we'd pick up where we left off.

I don't remember what I was supposed to see the urologist about. Something. Anyway I'm okay. Knock on wood. I'm sure you are too. Life is good. It's okay. No regrets. Just that the way you brushed against me and walked down that marble floor and through shadows and out the revolving door ---- you were memorable, kid. Very memorable.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy