There are many points of balance that are now demanded of us due to our civilized nature of late. One with which we dance daily is in the ballroom of the infernal elevator.
I’m certain you have had the questionable opportunity of meeting an elevator which habitually keeps its doors open too long? The one that also mocks its occupants with an ineffective “Door Close” button?
Ah, but these are not how its real pains are inflicted. Not at all.
Rather, it is when the door just begins to close after the agonizing seconds of its occupants’ lives have been sapped away in wait, when suddenly, another hapless individual approaches the door, clearly with the intention of also entering this world of Sartre’s making.
Will you hold the door open? If not, you know they will then need to wait for their next iron maiden. More time lost for them. And then, will you run into them again elsewhere, risking a brush against a grudge alight in their eyes? Will karma exact vengeance in some other untold, unexpected way?
If you do decide to keep it open – how will you do so? By risking your limb with that quick hand through the door motion – hoping you appease whatever magical sensors lie within its jaws? Or perhaps, you can risk the frantic search for the door open button, hoping that its power will somehow rival that of its similarly ineffectual sibling.
Success in preserving the door for another, at best, returns a smile and, at worst, a sense of satisfaction for having martyred several more precious seconds of your life and that of the others already on board for that of another.
And, what now? Your new companion has entered, but the door does not yet close. The vessel repeats its mockeries, once again keeping its mouth agape far longer than it should. And now there is one more occupant in the car ready to go through the same bitter dance should another arrive.
Such calculations, every day, so many times per day … ah civilization and its discontents …