June 21 2013
I wish I'd taken that extra ten seconds to have a glass of water before leaving my apartment this morning. But on the plus side, I have food. I've already eaten my lunch. I make a mental note to myself for the future: always have sandwiches in my bag. I've been trapped here in this elevator for about forty minutes. The technician is apparently on his way.
Helplessness. I don't do well with it.
I'm glad I chose my good shoes today. It's surprisingly chilly in the lift and the shoes are keeping me warm. It's like underwear - you never know when you're going to be grateful for wearing a nice pair.
I hear somebody try the door then scamper up the stairs. No, that's not my rescuer.
I reflect back on all the things that happened this week. Being chased home on Monday night; having a lucky escape on Tuesday; Wednesday all the torrential rain - 3 rooms flooded in my apartment but at least it led to a spontaneous drink with my upstairs neighbour. Thursday morning, waking up to no electricity because the water had got into the circuit and caused an outage. I was going down to drop off the insurance papers when I got in the lift. Thank fuck it's Friday, right?
I wonder when I'm going to get out of here. I'm going to need to go to the loo soon. Maybe it was actually ok that I didn't have that glass of water.
It really is incredible that, here I am, writing this in the pitch black, on the back of a Monoprix receipt, sitting in a lift, facing a cement wall. My boss' reaction "serieux?" comes into mind.
(The photo above was taken only thanks to my phone's very powerful flash.)
Where is the air coming from in here? I managed to push back the doors so there might be some air circulating from outside. I shouldn't be thinking about this. I'm starting to get light-headed.
"Emma," the concierge screams, "Emma. Il arriva là, le technicien, il arrive!"
"Ne bougez pas, madame," I near next. What don't move? I haven't been moving for the last one hour and ten minutes. Where does he think I'm going to be going all of a sudden??
There's silence again. I wonder what I'll do when I get out of here. Will I be able to get in the car and drive straight to work? Should I go and get that glass of water after all? More generally, will I be comfortable taking the lift again?
The technician manages to lower me down a little. However not far down enough that he can open the door. Then there's no noise, no movement, no action for a while. The normality of the concierge's voice was helping to ground me. Grounding. Would now be a good time to meditate? Stuck in a dark, closed space, I certainly wouldn't have anything to distract me. The lift suddenly starts to move again, gradually further down until the door opens and the technician pops his head in to see if I'm ok. The light from outside comes through. No more meditation for me.
After another ten minutes, I'm fireman-lifted down by the technician. The concierge and my landlord's mother are waiting with another couple of curious neighbours and passers-by and they kiss me on both cheeks. I'm out.