I enjoy elevator awkwardness.
I like putting my phone away to feel the uncomfortable environment.
I like making eye contact to acknowledge another person’s existence– who can potentially be trapped with me for hours.
If it’s morning, I’ll say GOOD MORNING.
If I’m leaving for the day, I’ll say HAVE A GOODNIGHT.
I’ll try to make small conversation.
BOY, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE.
I REALLY LIKE YOUR DRESS.
MAN, IT’S BEEN SUCH A LONG DAY.
This morning, I get into the elevator. And there is a guy already in it.
We make eye contact and nod hello.
The doors open again and JOE walks in.
HEY DUDE, YOU FOLLOWING ME? he says to the pre-existing guy.
The two men talk for a bit like two church ladies in a church parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
I pull out my phone and scroll.
Their conversation comes to an abrupt end. And I hear a small GOOD MORNING.
I hadn’t realized they were done talking and moved their attention onto me.
I respond to JOE with eye contact and a GOOD MORNING.
He laughs at my delay.
I WANTED TO GET YOU OUT OF YOUR PHONE FOR JUST A MOMENT.
I felt like he’d read the article on how to approach women when they have their headphones in. I felt he executed his duty to unplug me. I felt the need to sarcastically thank him.
OH THANK Y–
Too bad his attention moved quickly back to his pal. My sarcasm wasn’t felt.
Was it because I seemed younger to him? Because I ride my bike to work. Only the youthful commute on two wheels? Was it because I looked like a basic bitch that can’t stop scrolling through my phone? Did I remind him of the daughter that would rather pretend to scroll through Instagram than speak to him?
That last question was too harsh. But I’m going to leave it there for now.
He ‘unplug’ed me. But I felt penetrated.
Masculinity so fragile. Must be in control of women at all times.