Thursday, June 28, 2007

Maintained by the local housing authority

Kelly called me the other day. I answered, and she said, "Hi T it's Kelly and I wondered what you were doing today because if you're not busy I was thinking maybe you could come help us move this client of ours out of her apartment because Claudia said that she needed to move right now and you know when Claudia says that I think well this must be important and so I was trying to think of people who might be up for something spontaneous like this and I was wondering if you could meet us in twenty minutes and bring a truck." And then, she heaved in a breath.

This was the first time Kelly had ever called me. I'm not even sure how she found my number (or how she developed such an amazing lung capacity). As she came up for air, I said, "Whoa...slow your roll. Now, tell me that again. You want what?"

"Well, if you're not busy I was thinking maybe you could come help us move this client of ours out of her apartment because Claudia said that..."

I interrupted her here because I was afraid she was going to finish that sentence, and die of hypoxia.

"Okay, stop. I'm just going to repeat the parts I understood and ask you questions to fill in the rest. So, you want me to come help you move..."

She wanted me to come help her move a Mexican woman, new to this country, out of her apartment. She needed people to haul a few pieces of furniture into a truck and then drive them across town. She called me because I have the upper body strength of a kitten, and I drive a Corolla--I'm an obvious choice.

There were lots of other parts to the story, but my father, the IRS agent, once explained to me the value of something called plausible deniability. Remembering his words of wisdom, I quickly decided to ask her not to fill in too many blanks. "You know what? Why don't you just give me the address, and I'll operate on a strictly need-to-know basis, okay?"

I showed up at a government subsidized, county run apartment building. She had also managed to recruit two strong men to help us, one of whom actually had a truck. When we got to the 5th floor apartment, the guys took the sofa, and Kelly and I grabbed the recliner. It was all going pretty smoothly, until we got to the elevator.

Have I ever told you about my claustrophobia? It's something else I get from my dad. If I can't find the stairs, or I'm more than six flights from my destination, I'll do the long as it isn't more than half full. If it is, I'll wait for the next one, or grab a Gatorade and consider the stairs a good cardio workout.

Kelly and I pushed this recliner into a tiny, un-air-conditioned elevator on the 5th floor of a building maintained by the local housing authority. I really hesitated to get in there with her and the chair. But, I did.

Do I really need to continue? You know what happened next, right?

Yeah. The elevator got stuck between the 4th and 5th floors. There was no point in pushing the alarm button. No one comes to this building to take care of anything. Ever. So there I was in a small, hot, metal box, pinned against the wall with a recliner thinking about how I was going to have to eventually kill Kelly and eat her to survive.

Then, she started talking in paragraphs without punctuation again; and I considered the possibility that I may have to kill her long before the hunger set in.

I started praying that God would either fix the elevator, or save me some trouble and smite Kelly. (That's how I do the praying--I give him options.) And, in one of those moments that reminds me just how much he loves me best, the elevator started moving again.

We weren't stuck long. In fact, a less neurotic person may not have been the least bit bothered. Next time, she should call that person.


Mme Benaut said...

Oh dear - you poor thing. I would have felt exactly the same. Just goes to show the power of prayer doesn't it (he he). I love the phrase "plausible deniability"; not to mention the "upper body strength of a kitten". You're not only brave, you're kind too, little one.

Robyn said...

Yikes! I am so claustrophic, I can't put my head under water in the pool. I was trapped in an elevator once on the way to the basement of a Marshall Fields. No fun at all.

Sassy Sundry said...

Yikes! Do a good deed and that's what you get?

Maria said...

I think it is great that you actually helped someone who you seemed to know so...barely.

I am a cold hearted woman. I never help anyone move unless I owe them one. I hated moving myself so much that it was traumatic. I am ALL for hiring movers.

So, did the Mexican woman like feed you or anything? Because I think some enchiladas would have been inspiration for me to move someone...

Cheryl said...

My daughter won't go on elevators if she can help it. I tell her it's much safer than the stairs, unless, of course, the elevator gets stuck.

emmapeelDallas said...

LOL! I am sitting here laughing out loud...what a great story! Thanks for the laugh (and for your kind words about Mike).


Terroni said...

Well, I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

I told my mom the story today, and she said, "Well honey...I think you should probably not get in that elevator again."

Pearls of wisdom like manna from heaven.
Thanks for the tip, Mom.