The Smile—and a Split Second Thought


And so you stand there…waiting to reach the twelfth floor, and he comes in.  With one quick glance in his direction, you’ve broken your game—but he didn’t notice.  Actually that’s probably a good thing because your original game wouldn’t have worked anyway.  He smiles.  Suddenly your mind takes control.  There are so many ways you can interpret that smile.  In an instant you are a born again, revived believer in love at first sight.  You wonder if this is G-d’s little plan, and then you wonder whether it’s plain foolish to use spirituality in reference to such a miniscule gesture.  Your belief in such a love is so unexplainably illogical and mystical that you try to restrain yourself from falling down that track in your mind. But wait… isn’t your faith in religion just as mystical? You’re a great believer of one, why are you such a skeptic of the other? If you fear G-d’s punishment, why are you ignorant of Cupid’s wrath?  And then you stop yourself from going there and take a turn in another direction—right back to that smile.  Just imagine what a story you two could amaze your future grandchildren with.  How the elevator door opened, he smiled at you and the both of you knew that you’d spend the rest of your lives together.  Suddenly, you are so grateful to his mother.  What a remarkable woman she must be to have raised this perfect creature and instilled in him such manners.  If you think about it, it’s rare to find someone that hasn’t lost his chivalry in this deranged evolutionary process of equality.  Man has taken so much pride in his evolution from ape to human that he has nothing left but to turn back into the former at the first signs of political correctness.  Survival of the fittest has turned into a competition between man and woman, rather than one of men for woman.  And just think how lucky you are for meeting this man—this wonderful exception to the rule of modern romance.  Isn’t it astounding how this “bad gene” just skipped over him.  It must be Divine…how else could you explain this fortunate coincidence?  You wonder what he’s thinking—is he picturing your future together, too…  Your wedding, your kids, your house, your dog?  Somehow, that cliché-ish  image of you two sitting in quilted chairs at ninety doesn’t even appeal to you, so you’ll forgive him for neglecting that one.  You glance back at him and he’s looking at the floor.  Suddenly it hits you.  What if he’s really thinking about that meeting he’s gotta get to, or  professional sports—that mystifying distraction that even Cindy Crawford can’t compete with?  The mere thought of this typical male ignorance makes you want to smack him across the face.  How dare he picture some sweaty oversized jock rather than imagining how you’d look in your wedding gown—what a fool.  Here you are…the love of his life, standing inches away from him, and all he can think about is himself and his childish interests.  Pig!  But then you remember, “Wait a minute, I’m not a psychic. I’m not even good at understanding other people when they’re telling me about themselves, so how can I judge this poor guy who could very possibly be thinking of me at this very moment?”  Now you just wanna hug him.  What a sweetie. When he could be thinking of asinine athletes, he’s thinking of you.  “Excuse me, do you know what time it is?”…he speaks.  You examine your watch thinking that if it takes you too long to reply he’ll think you’re some sort of an idiot.  “8:30,” you say with a broad smile.  He glances at you with this warm look and a grateful nod that is unmistakably true love.  Of course…what else could it be?  Now that you’ve had this extensive conversation with him, you feel that a momentary glance in his direction is in order.  You study him with the speedy skill only a woman could possess.  Now that you have his image photographed in your mind, you can analyze every detail while staring at the numbered buttons on the wall.  His slicked black hair reaches down to the middle of his neck and frames his structured face by casually curling forward behind his ears.  He’s tall, but not too tall, and well-built, but not gladiator size.  He’s just right.  In a way, his pin-striped suit makes him look like he’s a member of the mob, but his angelic justify it.  He’s just a businessman…fresh out of college—still uncorrupt.  This observation makes you wonder how you have the wisdom to scrutinize him in such a matronly way; and then you realize that it’s not just you.  If he were to see himself, it would all be clear to him, as well.  So now you’re back to the image.  You look at his wrist, and what do you see?  A watch.  How adorable.  The door opens and you both look up to see what floor you’re on.  Twenty-three.  You wonder if this is his stop…because there’s only one more floor left.  You are perfectly aware that your twelfth floor passed minutes ago, but that’s okay.  He doesn’t know where you’re going.  Besides, he adores  you.  The whole “time” incident was practically a declaration of love.  No one gets on, and the doors close.  One more floor left.  If you don’t get off here, he’ll think you’re the elevator operator.  Now, the door opens.  You both get out.  Suddenly you realize that he’s looking around the hall with the same embarrassed confusion that you are ashamed to betray.  You feel like you’ve been through so much with him.  Twelve whole floors…and an entire lifetime as the happiest couple on earth.  The two of you wander around, hoping that the other will find the office that each of you have scandalously imagined up.  You keep walking…pretending.  You start off glancing at each other in a businesslike fashion.  Eventually, these glances become more and more familiar.  It starts.  He knows your story, and it’s the same as his.  You’re not embarrassed anymore.  After roaming this completely fateful twenty-fourth floor, the two of you stop at the elevator doors.  They open, and you get on.  They close. 





To those of you who aren’t satisfied with having the elevator doors slam on your face, know that these “elevator buddies” both missed their meetings, but had an enchanting ride down the elevator, after which they lived happily ever after.