Monday, November 12, 2007

Meetings in the elevator

Recently, I started asking my friends and co-workers, “who was the last stranger you spoke to?” A person selling you something doesn’t count, I add. They sometimes can’t think of one, some can usually think back to a bum they gave money to, or to a wrong number that called their cell phone.

I’m fascinated to find out about people’s interactions with strangers since I have them so much in my new home at Park LaBrea. There’s something fundamentally altruistic and civilized about two strangers wishing each other good night as they leave the elevator. It’s one of my favorite things about our new apartment. It almost keeps the city at bay for me.

I met a woman in the elevator on Halloween who was delivering candy throughout the tower because, as she said, “the kids don’t come to me, so I go out to them.”

I met a little girl in the elevator who called me the “second Mommy in the elevator.” We introduced ourselves and we all counted the number of the approaching floors out loud.

I met a security guard in the elevator who helped us with our elevator the morning we moved. He asked if we hade moved in alright.

I met an older lady in the elevator who told me she had lived in Park LaBrea for forty years.

I meet a girl twice a week in the elevator who tutors a kid on my floor mornings before she goes to work herself. I’m always so happy to see her, and we get to catch up on the little things we know about each other as we descend to the lobby.

Case in point, my stranger stories are so much better than those that others tell me.

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