6 comments

Drama

My first thought was – this is fun. My second, third and immediate thoughts thereafter were also ones of amusement. None of us were drunk – just merry, and we were laughing and exuberant the way people are, having spent a couple of hours in the pub.


My boyfriend had been playing football in the Sunday league and I was his faithful fair weather supporter. Each week if the sun was shining, all the girlfriends could be found pacing up and down the side lines shouting words of encouragement – chatting amongst themselves if the play was boring – which to a gaggle of girls who didn’t understand the rules of the game, it invariably was. We were there for the ‘love of our life’: and so were they – football. If there was rain, we took our own early bath and waited for the boys in the pub.


We were especially buoyant on that particular Sunday. The weather had held, the girls had been in fine voice – and managed the full 90 minutes, and his team had thrashed the opposition convincingly. The two of us were stretching out the victory as we arrived at his apartment block.


His apartment was in a high rise and shared the seventh floor: lucky seven; seventh heaven; seven – the number of perfection, security, safety and rest. He was perfection, made me feel safe and secure: and the rest……..


We were keen to get home to be in seventh heaven, and couldn’t face the stairs – we wanted to conserve our energy, so headed to the elevator, joined by others who arrived at the same time. They hadn't been drinking with us, but they'd clearly been drinking elsewhere and were just as giddy as we were. There was a working men's club nearby and they'd probably just watched the stripper – a regular Sunday performance by the stripper, a regular Sunday viewing by the men; accounting no doubt for their heightened excitement.


With hindsight it was not a good idea to pack in tight – there being strict rules on the number of occupants – and a weight limit, but we were all high-spirited and drunk on euphoria, and not too concerned with health and safety. 'Come on, the more the merrier,' someone laughed as another body pushed its way in and moulded itself around us.


A grinding, squeaking, clanking creaking. There were a few seconds when the lift did start to rise, though not significantly. Maybe its automaton brain realised that the effort was going to be too much; or perhaps its electrical power – as well as its mechanical strength failed, but in any event, machine and man jolted and came to a halt.


The first few minutes how excessively we continued to talk and laugh, confident our mini prison would soon be on the rise. There was something of the theatre about it – a pantomime of belly laughs that would have had us rolling on the floor if there had only been the space to do it.


The next few minutes, even when we realised we were not on the move, we still found humorous. 'Come on, press the button and stop pissing about,' someone joked, though it soon dawned on us – some quicker than others depending on how much they'd consumed, that the pissing about could soon be in the literal sense if the power had failed and our bladders couldn't hold out.


We each took turns pressing every button to every floor – all shuffling around methodically in the confined space to enable us to reach the control panel – not quite trusting our fellow passengers to be capable of such a simple task; then we shuffled around some more and pressed them all again for good measure. We agreed unanimously that the lift was not going anywhere, and neither were we: the doors would not budge an inch.


In the 70s we didn't have mobile phones: not even the early types that were the size of car batteries that you needed two hands just to carry, and muscles like Popeye to lift to your ear. But there was an emergency telephone in the lift – and it worked. Help was on the other end.


The fresh air gradually decreased as numerous lungs sucked in limited oxygen, and numerous bowels expunged fetid fumes. The combination of beer and men, in whatever ratio, does tend to produce a smell that is not conducive to comfort. There was not even the possibility of blaming it on the dog. The laughter subsided a little – along with the oxygen, at least helping prevent an excessive intake of second hand fermented carbohydrates.


It's being stuck in a tin can, packed tight like sardines that helps you determine whether claustrophobia is part of your psyche. For me it was social phobia, not claustrophobia that reared its ugly head as the lack of refinement of my travelling companions jarred suddenly on my senses, the way the elevator had jarred suddenly a short time ago.


I do not like the dark – nyctophobia a possibility, though fortunately the lights were still burning – I assume emergency power; but we did not know if the lights would go out, or when. Being small, I was enveloped by a tangle of arms, legs and several beer bellies, which made breathing more of a struggle, and the light less intense. Having your nose buried in the bodies of beer-infused men is not pleasant. I craved our knights in shining armour.


It is difficult – and problematic, to laugh when you need to spend a penny, and I felt as though I needed to spend a bank reserve to relieve me of my inclination.


Both my bladder and I were more than happy when the cavalry arrived in their shining red steed, wearing their yellow, composite Stetsons and carrying the tools of their trade – which included good looks and charm. Never have I been more in need of someone to raise my optimism, and give me a lift – though metaphorically speaking as the elevator remained immobile and we had to climb the stairs. A non-venomous snake of bodies ascending to their nests – some quicker than others depending on the fullness of their bladders. The laughter and the chatter more understated – through exertion, but not abandoned completely. Still smiling in the face of adversity.


I could only hope that elevatophobia would not present itself on visits to my boyfriend, or the steps to seventh heaven could become a seventh hell: and he the ‘love of my life’ no more.

September 07, 2020 15:06

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6 comments

Bianka Nova
20:36 Sep 17, 2020

Very well written! The descriptions of smelly beer-infused men and the way everyone has to try the buttons for themselves were really good 👍 I just think that you could've made it a bit longer...

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Yvonne Barker
06:21 Sep 18, 2020

Thanks for reading & liking.

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☆ Ariadne ☆
18:19 Sep 15, 2020

The style of this story is very unique. The descriptions are precise and vivid. Good job! The story is wonderful. Please check out my story and leave a comment/like! Thanks! :)

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Yvonne Barker
06:24 Sep 18, 2020

Thank you.

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Jade Young
17:44 Sep 15, 2020

Happy Reedsy debut🥳🥳🥳 This was an enjoyable read. I could picture myself in her shoes. Keep up the great writing 😊

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Yvonne Barker
06:23 Sep 18, 2020

Thank you

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