Tuesdays are a killer. Sometimes. Not always, not like Mondays which are uniformly, predictably misfortunate. Tuesdays have that way of lurking in the corners and you don’t know till you’ve passed them whether you’ll survive them or they’ll just leer and let you pass. Just when you think that having survived Monday, the week will be better….wait till you get a whiff of Tuesday
She wasn’t thinking of it. At 8:20 a.m., running late for the bus and downing a slice of toast in lieu of breakfast, no one thinks. The blur of a weekday morning came and passed. She stopped to catch her breath as she jumped into the lift, the ancient metal bars clanging behind her. She turned to survey herself in the mirror during the descent.
Except the lift was going upwards.
The teensiest groan escaped her. Must be the kid upstairs. Stoically she continued her scrutiny of her face, trying not to think of the missed bus. Finally she turned around. Why is it taking so long?
Because the lift has stopped at the floor….the silence whispered back at her.
Silence….yes. This lift was never silent. Between creaking rhematically up and down the building and yowling in a ear-shattering electronic rendition of some song whose original had been erased from everyone’s memory…between all these…oh but there was no in between. Like the steady pound of the heartbeat, this building proclaimed that it was alive through its noisy lift.
So why wasn’t the music playing?
Because there is no one there to get in….Silence muttered maliciously. Now the non-noise was taking on a personality of itself.
Who encounters silence in a busy metro? Or darkness? All shadows, beyond the metal bars and the halo of the lift light. Just clear enough to see that the landing was empty. There was no one there to call the lift.
She had only heard of the phrase “paralysed with fear”.
That’s not happening to me….dammit, I’m not getting spooked by a lift.
Turning to the panel, she gave it a smart jab.
She was all alone, suspended in thin air…standing just outside the deserted top floor inside a lift that no one had summoned.
Now what? Someone leered and she didn’t even wonder anymore about how she could hear that noiseless someone.
When fear is creeping up on you, start to count its footsteps. Or someone does.
Suddenly the lift whooshed down.
On the ground floor, the sun was shining. And the milkman gaping like he had never seen her before (like he did everyday). From the corner of her eye she could see the bus turn its corner.
She would get on it. And buy a ticket. And ride it to her destination. And mingle with the hundreds in a crowded city. And run through the day, laughing, frowning, joking, eating, sleeping. And all the while, wonder.
That night, she took out her notebook. On the top of the page, she began,
“Tuesdays are a killer. Sometimes.”