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And then there’s the story of the elevator itself. The elevator is like a nosy neighbor. It’s always around, makes an identifiable noise, has its own personality.

Personality?! you ask. Aha. You are a person that lives in a building with a modern elevator. The kind where you push a button, and like magic, the box arrives. You step in, push another button, and whoosh! you are on your home floor, and home free.

Not so with the wee-bit-cranky elevator in this building. First of all, you must stand outside, and wait for the red light go out. If it is on, the elevator is in use, and will not heed your call (or it’s stuck somewhere with the door propped open, which experience dictates is nearly always on the fifth floor, what is wrong with you fifth floor people, why do you not know how to close an elevator door?) So… light’s off, then push the button. Whirr, whine. The elevator arrives. You know this, because the light (which lit up when you pushed the button) has turned off again. So open the door, which has a standard doorknob swings out towards you, slide the clackety gate to the side, and go inside.

Once inside, ensure that the outer door is latched shut, pull the gate back closed, and ask the people beside you in the elevator what floor they are going to. The elevator can only take one set of instructions at a time. So if I’m going to the sixth (and final floor), you have to push your button first. Then after you get out, clack, unlatch, swing, swing, latch, clack, I can push my button.

The elevator is quirky, but mostly works okay. I live one floor below its machine room, and can vouch for it making a bit of a racket, but generally behaving itself. There is a story about getting stuck in the elevator with a friend and the kind neighbor that tried to rescue us with a kitchen knife, but I think that story is better saved for another day.

Whirr, clack, swing, latch. I’m going outside