Magazine Preview: Hamilton Hellivator
Written by Bwog Staff
Nina Pedrad takes a ride in the Hamilton elevator and then makes up a story about it for The Blue and White. It’s fiction!
It was daytime and I was late (typical). Packing those snacks for the subway always turns into AP Ziploc Baggies.
My low heels bolted down Low Steps toward a certain seven story building on the east side of campus. Late wasn’t an option. My 417 IAB tricks wouldn’t fly in 714 Hamilton. See, in 714 Hamilton the chairs were arranged in a circle, the graduate student meant business, and late meant an F. Attendance was 100% of the grade. But to get to 714 Hamilton, you needed to bleed patience. Because unless you were a cyborg, to get to 714 Hamilton, you needed to take The Elevator.
Don’t look so scared kid, the story’s just getting started.
A stampede of brainless, walking skulls stormed out of the building just as I headed in. Snaking between canvas book bags, past the stained glass homage to Sophocles, I landed in front of The Doors. The Doors to… The Elevator.
A tiny bright dot lit the “up” button, mocking the gaggle waiting to ascend. There was the lost PhD student, perpetually confused. The skinny kid with cinna-bun headphones. The princess in pearls and loafers. The prick in loafers and cashmere. The don’t-look-at-me’s and the please-look-at-me’s, in cotton and neon, respectively. And then me. Late.
We stood, waiting. We’d all exchanged tight lipped smiles, checked our phones, checked our hair, watched each other check phones and hair. Minutes passed. Endangered species died. The Doors finally opened.
I had one foot in when a human seatbelt arm flung in front of me. “It’s going down,” said cinna-bun. “Thanks,” I say back. Sea Wolf, not bad. A ripple of sighs from the gaggle as they realized they’d been duped by the Vator.
Get used to it.
Back up to two, and this time we were playing for keeps. We filed in, until filing became crowding, and crowding became jamming, and some asshole in a popped collar flings a boat-shoed foot in to hold the door, allowing three more people into the swarm, all headed to the fourth floor. Not even the fifth, that purgatory. The fourth. The prick’s index finger is white with the pressure – he’s hit the “door close” button so many times. And the princess is wedged between itchy neon tights and the Ph.D. student’s weird canteen. A don’t-look-at-me runs out, whimpering. And I’m still late.
Up we go. The doors open on floor—three? The elevator rolls its collective eye. An old woman with a walker gets on. The entire elevator is going to hell. The old woman smells like garlic. This is hell. A smile intended for cinna-bun catches hold of the prick instead. He winks back. Heat rises faster than we. I contemplate cremation.
Floor four. The four Polo musketeers get off. The original gaggle breathes a sigh of relief, bonded by a common enemy.
And then the lights go out. And someone screams.
Illustration by Cindy Pan