Monday, November 9, 2009

I haven't even been near a sodding lift for months and still just thinking about this gives me the heeby jeebies

I will do anything I can to avoid lifts, particularly those afterthought-type lifts you get in shops that are really about the showy staircases highlighting the storeys full of consumables you're supposed to be coveting.
Said lifts are invariably tucked away in the far reaches of the store, where not even the delivery boy thinks to go for a crafty fag. They're about the size of the inside of a postbox (and no, I will never voluntarily be trapped in a postbox either, but then, who would? Surely I'm not alone in this) and, my particular worst fear, they have those fucking doors that pause before opening.

You reach your chosen floor, the tinny upright coffin containing you clunks into place, and then the doors metaphorically wander off for a coffee and a gentle browse through the review section of the paper before strolling back in a while later, slinging their jacket on the back of a chair and thinking: "What was it I was going to do before? Oh yeah, open. That's it". By which point, I'm a gibbering wreck. I've calculated how many weeks my bottle of water will last me (and yes, I do keep one with me at all times just in case), rootled through my pockets for random pre-masticated cereal bars and other discarded kiddie foodstuffs that might help me for a day or two, obsessively checked my phone coverage (non-existent) and established that there's no way I could reach to climb out the roof of the lift, to say nothing of the fact that this would mean CERTAIN DEATH, Speed style.

I know why, at least, I'm such a pathetic specimen when it comes to confined spaces.
When I was about seven, and my kid sister about five, we were playing upstairs in our gran's house when we knocked over the wardrobe. God knows what we were doing in the wardrobe; I don't think Narnia was in our bloodstreams at that point. It must've just seemed like a good place to play.

With the wardrobe firmly front-forwards on the floor, there was no way out for us. We yelled and screamed and banged, but our family was used to us playing "actively" (read: like screeching banshees) so nobody paid any attention. Quite possibly they were all at the end of the garden hoeing beans or something (it was that kind of a garden); equally possibly, we were in there for five minutes rather than the several days it felt like.

It was an empty wardrobe, fortunately - well, full of my sister and I, but no clothes to suffocate us or anything grim like that. Maybe more sanguine kids would've found the whole thing quite interesting - in fact, I don't remember my sister being particularly concerned - but sanguine is a word I can spell far better than I can embody. I was freaked out by it then, and I'm freaked out by it now. Trapped, in the dark, with no way of getting out and no proof that anyone knows we were in trouble. Lovely.

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