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24 July 2016

Sunday Psalms: The Elevator

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Sunday Psalms: Fictional Narratives Inspired by the Psalms, Proverbs, & Other Biblical  Works

I don’t like to brag, but I really am excellent at interviews. I’m always early, I bring resumes printed on expensive paper, and I certainly know how to look good in a suit. Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to get this job.

It’s a beautiful Thursday morning, and I arrive ten minutes early at the Covington Towers, my leather briefcase in hand. I always like to carry it, even if there’s nothing in it. The revolving doors make a whooshing sound as I maneuver my way through. The marble of the lobby floor shines from a fresh coat of polish. A large sign informs me that, due to maintenance, only one of the building elevators is in operation. Good thing I’m early.

What’s your vision for global expansion in the next five years? How do you plan to incorporate environmental care into your designs? As I wait for the elevator to work its way down to street level, I rehearse the well-formulated questions I intend to ask my interviewer. I always have questions. There’s nothing they love more than that. Makes them feel good about what they do. Everyone wants someone to be interested in them, even interviewers.

Ding. The elevator doors slide open, and I follow after another gentlemen who appears equally concerned with his appearance. I’m confident that his suit is Armani, and I feel a silent camaraderie as we enter the tiny box.

“What floor?” he asks, and I proudly tell him the sixtieth. Anybody who’s anybody knows all about the sixtieth floor of the Covington Towers. The sixtieth floor is the hub of the most innovative architectural firm in the city. They’re the ones who designed this very structure, a massive skyscraper that hosts a hotel, a shopping center, a bowling alley, and a movie theater. For years I’ve dreamed of a position here, and now, after all this time, I have landed the interview that every previous job has prepared me for. This is the day my dreams come true.

The man pushes the sixtieth button for me, and the thick doors begin to close in on us.

“Stop! Hold the elevator!” An arm shoots through the crack, and a voice calls out to us. The doors obediently slide back open, and a woman with a birdcage bursts inside.

“Oh, thank goodness,” she exclaims and emphatically punches the button to the fifth floor.

Would it kill her to walk up five flights of stairs?

She settles down next to me, pushing me closer to the other man. Her yellow birdcage is in my face now, and a small green parrot croaks, “Good old boy.”

“Yes, you are a good boy,” the lady affirms as the elevator doors close.

Second floor. Third floor. Fourth. Ding. Doors slide open.

“Oh my gosh. I’m like completely over it. My mom is so insane. She keeps threatening to take my phone away, can you believe it? She’s so controlling.”

A teenage girl with purple and blue hair steps on, talking at a volume and frequency that I’m sure every dog in town can hear. She continues to ramble to her little friend on the other end of the phone, while at the same time she pushes multiple buttons. Floors seven, nine, and eleven all light up.

“Mall’s on the fourteenth floor,” I mumble to the man next to me. His mouth responds with an interesting shape as the girl completes her selection and we are allowed to continue upward. I groan as we are subjected to stop at floors seven, nine, and eleven, and yet she still does not get off.

“Oh, I’m almost there,” the girl blabs into her phone. “I forgot which floor I was meeting you on.”

Ding. When the elevator stops again, we are at the twentieth floor that proudly hosts an international food emporium. Complete with a French patisserie, a fresh pasta store, and a candy shop. People from all over the word travel here just to sample the varied cuisine.

The girl traipses off, only to have her vacancy replaced by a mother with a trio of children. Each one steps on, dripping with voluminous ice cream cones. I roll my eyes as their pink tongues try desperately to keep up with the melting dessert. I inch closer to the wall, faithfully guarding the fabric of my black suit from the mounds of strawberry and chocolate and mocha that threaten to stain.

“Mommy, can I push the button?” one of the children asks and squirms his way to the control panel. I watch as his sticky fingers leave a filmy residue all over the buttons.

Now we are even more cramped. I gain a new appreciation as I consider the plight of dill pickles as they are mercilessly shoved into glass jars.

Higher and higher we inch, one floor at a time as passengers come and go. “Should have taken the stairs,” I say under my breath and glance down at my watch.

At the fortieth floor, a man with a small dog steps on. “Going down?” he asks after the doors have shut.

“Up,” someone tells him, and he grunts. “Thought this was going down.”

No, you idiot. Look at the arrows. Up, buddy. Up.

Now his dog is at eye level with the birdcage, and the two animals enter into verbal combat with each other.

“Stupid boy,” the bird mocks, and the dog, who seems to understand, begins a series of growls and yips.

“Can’t you tell it to be quiet?” I bark at the bird lady who subsequently glares at me.

“He’s just being friendly,” she says and protectively wraps her arm around the cage.

Ding. We arrive at the forty-third floor. She storms off with her bird.

Good riddance.

The doors slam shut, and the elevator lurches. Before I can stop him, the youngest of the ice cream children, a little boy not more than four years old, tumbles into me.

“Look what you did!” I instinctively yell as the boy’s ice cream smashes across the chest of my suit. Chocolate smears everywhere. On my suit, on my shirt, on my silk tie. There’s no way I can clean this up before the interview.

“Bwaaaa!” The little boy starts sobbing and drops the remainder of his cone onto the floor. The rest of the passengers chastise me for berating the child and utter sympathetic musings to the boy.

Floor after floor we inch, stopping at every single floor. I grit my teeth, knowing I am officially late for my interview.

Ding. Floor fifty-nine. By now, only the man in the Armani suit and I remain.

Ding. Finally. The doors open, and I behold the sixtieth floor. He steps off first and walks up to a glass reception desk. I follow behind and hear him ask, “Carol, is my two o’clock interview here?”

Two o’ clock? That’s me.

“Excuse me, but I’m Stanley Carson,” I step forward and stick my hand out. “I’m your two o’ clock interview.”

“Oh? You’re Mr. Carson?” The man politely shakes my hand and says, “Well, I do want to thank you for taking the time to come down to see us. I hope you have a good trip back to Seattle. All the best.” He has dismissed me.

“But what about the interview?” I ask. Surely there’s been some mistake. I’m not that late.

The man gives me a disappointed expression and simply says, “Mr. Carson, I think the elevator ride was interview enough.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

He that is slow to anger is of great understanding; But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. Proverbs 14:29 (ASV)

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32 (ASV)

-Question to Ponder: When are you prone to becoming impatient?

-Song Recommendation: Safe Place by Karla Adolphe

-Read Previous Sunday Psalms: Season One Episodes, Season Two: Episode 1Episode 2, Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11

Written by Heidi Sadler, Inspired by Proverbs 14:29 & 16:32. Copyright © 2016 by Heidi Sadler, All Rights Reserved. 

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