Elevating Thoughts

In the public sphere, rare are the moments when someone in a wheelchair is able to feel invisible or anonymous: for the most part and in most situations -- the four wheels I am cruising around on are difficult for others to not see. With that said, I'd like to invite you into a space that I hold almost-sacred in the world out there: The Elevator. 

Ding! The neon glow to the arrow pointing up is lit. This little light, like a quarterback in a football game, begins to set the players into formation. People shuffle around in the lobby nudging closer to the elevator doors; I have already strategically positioned myself at the front of the line but not in front of the doors. Instead, I am angled off to the side and in such a way that makes my stance clear: this is now my elevator, and I intend on getting in it
As the doors slide open I dart inside, quickly hit the button to my floor and then swivel around to the rear right corner. Other people begin to march inside and I sit there for a few seconds watching, and in my warped brain I pretend I am the royal queen grudgingly accepting the company of my subjects. 

But Oh No! What is this? 
Whose rear end is slowly creeping ever closer in.to.my.face?! And what about this other rear end with JUICY plastered across it that is about to back that thaaang up right into my wheelchair's joystick? I realize that as an adult I should be over the concept of cooties, but don't these people understand!?! While they don't need to touch the soles of their shoes -- my hand needs to always touch my joystick in order for me to get anywhere... in LIFE! 
At this point I have sucked in my breath and am hoping with fervor that these anonymous rear ends will leave my metallic boxy kingdom before I get to my floor. The doors are now beginning to close and I, along with my subjects, are beginning to get used to each other's "unique" choices in perfume, cologne, and... just what the hell is that stench? Clearly someone failed to realize that flipping your two day old underwear inside out and then putting it back on does not do the trick. I flick my eyes up at the bodies standing directly in front of me, and with a quick glance at the back of their heads I have telepathically sent them a stern message: do not pass gas. Because if you do, I have no qualms about running you over -- and as you can see, there is no where for you to run inside this box. 
The fluorescent light to the outside world is narrowing as the doors are drawing to a close. People are beginning to settle into their little orbs of separation, making sure that their own finite walls do not accidentally knock into those of their verycloseandtightknit neighbor's. Except, there is an interjection. The doors jerk open, the light tumbles back inside, thumbs stop mid-flick across phones, heads lift up to face the front. First we see a hand and then a foot steps in, then the rest of the person - shoulders apologetic, and face in a part frown part guilt, "Hey, thanks.." the anonymous person says. 
Thanks?? What are you thanking us for? I am unwavering in my confidence that we unanimously silently agreed that none of us want you here, because you are only delaying us in our own urge to getwhereweneedtogo! Without waiting for our silent response this person has swiveled around, promptly ignored us and resumed their proper place in the formation; there is a shuffle from the rest of us to make room - the right butt cheek of JUICY is now officially brushing up against my hand. I swallow hard and close my eyes, for the love of god why can't the body emit farts of spring flowers or fresh baked cookies? 

Finally. The doors are closed, and now the silence fills the box as we, complete and utter strangers, ascend together. And so the guessing game begins. Who is getting off on which floor? Why does that guy think that he can pick his nose just because he is standing in the back of the elevator? (The rear of the elevator is apparently like the rear of the school bus - SO MUCH delinquent behavior goes on back there..) And what about the other lady doing the pick-at-my-wedgie-dance? When the doors closed I guess we all signed a social contract that said: what happens in the elevator, stays in the elevator. Is the woman with her eyes closed while leaning against the left wall okay? Or is she going to pass out? I glance around, no one else seems to be concerned about her, but I am.

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