Thursday, June 27, 2013

Elevators and Deliveries

I have been doing deliveries downtown for the cafe for the past two weeks during the day, in addition to my other jobs. It's odd to be amongst the dead-eyed office workers, wearing sweaters and long pants because of the air conditioning, while I run around in cut-off jean shorts and messy hair from the wind outside. It's very much solidified what I already suspected- that I could never work in a typical office environment. There is something about the lack of independence and troubled visibility of a bigger picture or scheme, the repetitive mundane tasks and the unclear hierarchy, all set under horrendous florescent lights and in a maze-like setting that just makes me think of purgatory, or how hell is portrayed in that movie "Wristcutters". 

Because most of the buildings I deliver to are government offices, I get used to seeing some of the same people every day. In particular, it hit me this week that this one building, North Petroleum Tower, is where someone I would very much like to avoid seeing works. It brought up these memories, and these thoughts, and because it has been 6 months since we fought and I blocked him on FB and told him to never call me again, I've had lots of time to bury my memories and thoughts and let them s******. Perhaps it's because it has been so long, but this week I've been able to rationally and quietly, with no great emotional investment, just mentally touch and probe these feelings. Perhaps that's why I had a dream about him last night, not a bad or a good dream, just a boring dream. Perhaps that's why this afternoon when I went to North Petroleum Tower to pick up our dishes, I had this dizzying sense that I was going to see him. As I approached the elevators, I thought I heard his voice but I shook it off as nonsense. Then I rounded the corner, and perhaps that's why I wasn't surprised when I saw him standing 15 feet away from me, by the doors. He was looking at his phone, and after the slap-in-the-face feeling of recognition, my gut reaction was to back up slowly, away, around the corner where he wouldn't see me. I took maybe two steps backwards when he looked up, saw me, and we both froze. If my face was mirroring his, it would have been horrified. 
So I moved forward. I wasn't sure how he would react, how I would react. All I knew was that this was an Awkward Situation, and if Nolan taught me anything, it was how to bury your true feelings and behave like an adult in Awkward Situations. 
The conversation must have sounded somewhat normal. I hope so. I believe so. I don't know how long we chatted for, but afterwards on my walk back to the elevators I felt stunned, numb, unreal. 

At least now that initial encounter is out of the way. Next time will be easier I know. But the thought that kept looping through my head for the rest of the day, and even now, is how small E-town is. How tiny our world is, and how powerful our thoughts seem some days. 


  1. I'm proud of you! You did the adult thing, put on a neutral face, smiled and got through an awkward moment. By the time you're my age you'll have gone through so many of them you will just expect to: run into bullying ex-neighbours when out for dinner, run into people who intimidate you when you're looking like a hag and you have to put on the 'fake confidence' smile, have people publicly say mean things about you and just take it on the chin (thinking in your head that they must be so....unhappy to be embarrassing themselves this way), etc. Being the more mature person is all part of growing up!

  2. Those fluorescent lights get me every time. I don't mind the recirculated air, though. I've got the A/C running right now. It's miserable here.

    He had the whole of North Petroleum Tower to be lurking in, and he happened to be in a hallway you were going down? Figures. One Awkward Situation with a side of fresh horror, coming right up.

    You described that scene very vividly. Literarily. (New word I just made up.) Well done.