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A life I'm not living: Elevator angst

Slip the collar over his neck and walk out the door. Ring for the elevator. Curse out loud for forgetting my mask and drag him back to the apartment.

This happens almost every morning. I believe in the mask, but I just forget to put in on.

Back by the elevator, I nervously watch for what floor it is on before it passes us. As it goes up to 15, the dog starts whining. It could either be dropping someone off, in which case, when it comes back down to us, we'd board; or, picking someone up, in which case, we'd need to defer. It stops, and the short woman with the small dog that barks incessantly only at mine appears. The dog barks, incessantly. The elevator door closes without us getting on and without either human saying anything.

The dog and I wait for what seems like an infinitely long amount of time before I realize I've forgotten to press the button again. After I do press the button, again, the elevator arrives empty fairly quickly, and we enter. The dog is whining incessantly. The elevator stops on another floor, and there's that moment, where my neighbor's and my eyes meet and seemingly dialogue in place of our mouths, which are, of course covered by our masks. His eyes ask: "May I come in?" and mine shout "No!"

The elevator doors shut and then the dog and I, both whining, make it down without further delay.


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As of January 2024, Rewriting Paradigms is back and I'm writing about today's  issues, those that most test us and our humanity.

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