Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta elevator. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta elevator. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

Interview

   That elevator ride fell as if it was going to last forever. I don’t really know if it stopped in every single floor but it really did seem to. My hands and my legs kept shaking and I was failing miserably in trying to control them. I was very nervous. I also kept cleaning the sweat off my hand with my pants, which wasn’t the best idea to have when going to an interview. At one point, I felt I was going to faint. The people there with me seemed completely oblivious to my personal struggle.

 When I finally got to my floor, after every other was gone, my legs seemed to be unwilling to help me anymore. Only a few step away from the elevator, I felt I couldn’t walk anymore My feet actually hurt and trying to move my body was very challenging. I have no idea how, but somehow I got myself to the reception, which was very close by. A woman heard my name and told me to wait in a seating area. Around me, other people were also waiting, all younger than me.

 I felt as if I wanted to run away from that place. When I checked every single face in that room, I realized I was way over my head. I had come thee looking for a job but these people were clearly much better for it than me. I even bet that some of them had much more experience than I and had even already worked somewhere else before. Their resume was quite possibly a long list of names, which they could put in there as a reference, from a clothing store to a big multinational company.

 I had my resume in folder I had brought and I instinctively wanted to check if I had put everything that was worth written on it but then remembered there wasn’t that much to tell, so I refrained from looking at it and instead tried to force my eyes to focus on the window that was very close by. It wasn’t easy to look out through it but it was much better to stare and try to imagine and quieter world than attempting to breathe normally with the typical methods that had never had a any real results. Looking through the window was my way to escape.

 I needed to do it if I wanted to keep breathing. The only way to make myself relax was to imagine a wide array of situations that could happen inside that waiting room or outside of it. It didn’t really matter. The point was that t all had to be happening around me, so the false memory, the invention, was all about making me feel like someone I wasn’t, at least for some time until I realized I was being childish and I needed to breathe a little and just move on. The thing was that it wasn’t always as easy as it sounds.

 Suddenly, the woman called my name. She told me to go through a door and then walk down an aisle to another door marked “Human resources”. My interview would be taking place in that office. Before leaving the waiting room, I had a brief eye contact with another guy waiting there and I have to say the only thing I could see n his eyes was fear. He seemed really terrified somehow and I kept thinking about him even after the interview was over, many hours later.

 I walked slowly towards the office and when I finally got there, no one was waiting for me. The place was empty so I had to check if I was in the right place. I was. The best thing to do was to wait outside, by the door. The person that was going to do the interview had to be very close by, so there was nothing to worry. However, I was shaking so much that my teeth started to make a very annoying noise that I had to try really hard to suppress. This was definitely not my element.

 The person finally got there and it was a woman. I was a little bit disappointed because I thought a man was going to ask me the questions. I’m not saying one is better than the other in the workplace but it is a fact that men are typically less harsh in interviews, unless you get a guy that had more in common with a buffalo than with an actual human male. But whatever, anything can happen so I just sat down, as she did on the other side of the table. The room seemed to have gone smaller.

 There was also a very particular scent but I couldn’t really point at what it was. She was really trying to be very nice and that was good because I felt my hands shaking much less than before. However, she started talking about work and about many things I had no idea about. She kept talking and talking and I just nodded at some of her comments and then answer some questions she threw from time to time. It was kind of hard to follow what she was saying but I did my best to do so.

 At one point, she stopped short and offered me a beverage. My bladder was full because of how nervous I was so it wasn’t an option to start drinking water or whatever she offered. The other reason I refused was because my throat felt closed to anything trying to go in. Every time I spoke, I had to clear my throat because it felt as if I was waking around the Sahara desert. She clearly noticed something about me but didn’t comment on it and I was very grateful she decided not to ask. My feet kept moving and my hands kept sweating profusely.

 She then asked me for my resume and I handed it to her. She looked through it for a couple of seconds and then put it on a huge pile I had neglected to see. At least some fifty other resumes had to be there, waiting for something that would probably never happen. She talked to me then and I feel like she said some important things but I wasn’t listening at all. The sight of that pile made me realized that I was fooling myself, that everyone was fooling themselves with this charade.

 I had no idea why I did it. I had never done anything remotely similar. I would normally just wait until the person was finished to say something, if I did because most of the time I was just a zombie that shook hands and maybe cracked a smile in order not to look like a complete mental patient. My mouth would normally be too dry to say a word and my body too shaky to keep making that moment go longer. So that was one of the few times I really surprised myself.

 My voice cut her off; making her stop her speech about something I have no idea. I noticed too that my body had made me stand up, which I even didn’t realize. Slowly, I grabbed my resume from the top of the pile and told the woman I was very grateful for the opportunity but that I knew that I had no real chance of getting such a job. I was highly overqualified in the academics side of it but grossly under qualified as experience is concerned. So my chances were pretty slim.

 I told her I knew of those kids outside would be getting it because it was just easier to make them do whatever the company needed and they could even pay them less because they were just beginning, even if they had worked for ten years already. Age was one of those things that companies used at will in order to grant or deny benefits around the workers. I knew that’s how it worked, even if I had never been paid to do anything in any company, anywhere to be perfectly honest.


 The woman had her mouth open and I thought of shaking her hand but I was shaking so much already and my hand was so sweaty that I refrained myself from doing it. I excused myself and left the room, almost running back to the elevator, which filled up once again and seemed to take years to get to the ground floor. My resume escaped my hands, falling to the floor. I felt a bit dizzy, probably hungry already. As soon as the elevator got to its destination, I ran outside, to the sun and the air and the freedom of a world that didn’t needed me to keep moving.

viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2016

Physical

   The first thing was to remove my clothes. I had no problem with that except that the area destined to that wasn’t at all empty. One of the men that served as janitor in the premises was taking a very long time emptying each one of the trashcans in the area and then two other clients stepped in. But as fast as I could, I used my towel wrapped around my waist first and then I removed the underwear. When I was ready, a woman was expecting me at the door. I thought she might not be very happy about me taking so long to get undressed but the truth was she didn’t seem to mind.

 I followed her through the maze like first floor of the building and then we stopped in front of an elevator. She told me, as if she was telling me something she had learned by heart, that there were no rooms available on the first floor so someone was waiting for me in the fifth floor. I just nodded, as if accepting that would change anything. I was already there, I had paid up front, so nothing I could do would make the slightest different whatsoever. Waiting there for a while was not the most comfortable thing though.

 I always thought they gave you some kind of robe to cover your whole body but that was not the case there. Everyone one I saw, including myself, was wearing just a towel around the waist and that was it. If someone wanted to cover more they had to use their arms or probably ask for a second towel although I had no idea how that would happen, as the workers in that place tended to disappear in the places you needed them the most, like in the dressing room that was filled with other people so it would have been the same if one of them was there.

 In front of the elevator, other clients started stopping by. I was surprised to see a woman but then realized she probably had an urge to do it too so it made sense if you thought about it. A man with his back covered in hair also parked himself in front of the elevator. He was very tall and all his furriness was very distracting. It was like looking at a very large bear or something of the sort. Each one of us was accompanied by someone form the place, which was kind of weird. In any other place, we would have been very easy to pick out from a crowd.

 The elevator finally opened and we all, the six of us, got in. I felt a sudden wave of heat when the doors closed and I realized I had my face only centimeters away from the hairy back of the tall guy. The woman was on a corner, not even faking she was not liking it so much. She wasn’t alone as I had the sudden thought of staying in that elevator once it got back down. There was no way in hell I would be staying in such a place. I had committed a mistake and needed to save myself from it as fast as I could. My mind was racing.

The door finally opened and we all got out at the same time. It was as if we had been liberated from jail or something. Each one of the assistants from the place took each one of us in a different direction and I think we all thanked them for it. I walk by a large quantity of door and then the woman that was leading the way told me to wait inside one of the rooms. She opened the door and revealed a really nice office with something I hadn’t seen in a while: a big window overlooking the city.

 As I stepped in the room, the woman slammed the door behind me leaving me completely alone in a space I had never been in before. I saw the table, the classic one, right there in the middle. There were also some chairs all around and a sofa, although I had no idea why that was there. Was someone staying overnight to sleep in that office? Or did they have an audience each time they were with a client? The seating capacity was unusually high for what I would have expected in such a place. The view though, was the best part of it all.

 I got close to the window and looked in front of me: the city appeared to be all at my feet. The tallest building was not that tall and all the people and cars looked like ants under my feet. As I was barefoot, the sensation was even more powerful and funny. I decided that if I ever won the lottery or if my job gave me the possibilities, I would try to live in that area in order to get that same view from my bedroom and even my bathroom. Imagining that made me smile like an idiot and ignore that the door had been opened moments ago.

 My towel almost fell to the floor the moment a person coughed, obviously trying to get my attention. I thought they would knock first or something but no, that wasn’t a thing in that place. When I turned around to see the person I would be involved with for the next hour, I realized there was something wrong. Well, not wrong but it wasn’t like I was expecting it. The person who had coughed was a man. Granted, he was a very handsome man who was probably very good at his job but I wasn’t expecting a male on my first time there.

 He noticed my hesitation to get near him and it was him who walked towards me and extended his hand for me to shake it. We did that and it was very amazing to feel that the man was very calm and had one of those smiles that make you very mellow in a second. He told me that the person assigned to me wasn’t going to make it so they had decided to send him instead. He apologized for that and hoped I didn’t mind him being assigned to me. I was so relaxed by only watching his face that I didn’t answer with words but only by shaking my head affirmatively, with a silly smile.

 Out of the blue, he grabbed one of my hands and I thought I was about to burst into happiness. Why did it felt so right, so perfect? I had no idea back then and I couldn’t find the reason why many days afterwards. His touch was a very special thing, that was for sure. He took me to the table in the center and told me to lay down there for him. Again, I nodded and smiled like an idiot, unable to actually talk like any human would normally do. There was something about him that made me act like that and I didn’t care what it was at the moment.

 I laid down on the table for him, still smiling. I looked at the ceiling as I smiled and I was so distracted by my strange behavior that I didn’t notice he had already started. His hands were a little bit warmer than before. They glided down my skin with grace. My body started feeling every single touch as if it was the first contact with anyone in my life. It was such a strange feeling to have but I certainly like it and I think I got him to know that a couple of times.

 He started on my arms and then on my neck area and then my chest. It was a really nice experience. People had told me that it sometimes hurt but I realized they had all been wrong or had visited awful places because that guy was making me feel as if he was taking layers and layers of unnecessary stuff from me. He was taking away all the things my body didn’t need anymore and I truly began to feel lighter, to feel as if I could float away and wander around the room if he wasn’t there to hold my body. It was a very nice feeling.

When he moved on the legs, I have to say the magic went away for a second. I have always been ashamed of my legs so having someone touch them was not a very easy thing for me. But he did his jobs in such a way; I just didn’t care about my problems anymore. As he did my legs, he asked me to turn around in order to do the rest. I complied almost without hesitation, turned around in an instant. In that moment, I didn’t want such an amazing experience to end. I felt so much better than when I had entered the building.


 He finished with my legs and then did my back and neck in order to finish. When I felt his hands off me, I felt a bit sad. So sad in fact, that I laid there way too long. When I turned around to ask for his name, he was gone. The woman that had brought me there was waiting at the door, again. We took the elevator down; I dressed in the locker room and left feeling much better than I had ever felt before. But I was also wondering about him, I could still feel his hands all over my body. Who thought a day in the spa would be so rewarding?

lunes, 15 de diciembre de 2014

Freedom in Chiyoda

Kumiko had already bought every single thing she needed to cook her mother's favorite dish: a soup filled with several types of seafood, native of her birth city. She boarded the train and sat down calmly: the trip was a long one, as her home was near the terminus station.

She decided to check her emails on her smartphone but a strange sound distracted her as she drew the phone out of her backpack. She looked up and stared at the people in the train with her: they were all distracted by their mobiles phones, some others were sleeping or trying to. She grabbed her phone and then heard the sound again. It came from inside her backpack, most precisely from the bag with all the things she had bought at the market. She tried to hear the sound again but nothing happened so she zipped the bag up and left it on the ground.

As she checked some messages, she heard another noise, this time from somewhere on the floor. As the wagon was filled with people, it was hard to determine its origin. Kumiko looked at every shoe and foot around her but couldn't see a thing.

"I must be very tired", she thought. She had been working too hard on her thesis, staying at home for days without ever going out or resting properly. She would fall asleep very late at night and wake up early to investigate and structure her work. Her mother would cook delicious things for her but she never finished any of them. To be honest, she always left more than half of what was served to her because the thesis absorbed her attention.

In a nutshell, she had been a zombie for almost a month. But the day before, she had finally finished it and today she had delivered it to college and, after that, had the idea to make her mother an special dinner, as a way to thank her for her support and understanding.

But all that was now on the back of her head. That sound, that strange sound that she could hear every so often, had taken the first place in her list of priorities. Maybe she had gone crazy from so much work... But it came again, she could hear it. Not able to stand it anymore, she stood up, her backpack tight on her body and followed the particular sound.

It was something small, on the floor. Kumiko could see she wasn't the only one hearing the sound: a little girl was staring at the floor without saying a word and an older gentleman was staring at the roof, most likely trying to remember if he had ever heard that same sound.

Then, Kumiko heard a scream. It was a crazy scream to be honest, she even thought someone was been killed or stabbed or mugged but it was nothing like that. She ran towards the woman that had screamed and she was pointing to the floor. So... that was it.

On the floor, crawling slowly, was a tiny octopus. It looked wet, slimy and weird. The woman screamed again and Kumiko put a hand over her ear: too much exaggeration for such a small and defenseless creature. He must have escaped the cup the vendor had put him in. And Kumiko had asked for fresh octopus so he had taken it a little bit to literal. She started to reach down for it but then the train slowed down: it was nearing a station.

The girl only stared at the window for a single second but that was enough for the tiny creature to crawl very fast and exit through the nearest door. She reacted clumsily and ran for the door, as it was closing. If she had been late for a couple more seconds, her hand would have been caught by the metal doors.

Now, on the platform, people were staring at her, which was funny: there was an octopus somewhere in the station and she was the one been looked at. She looked to every side but couldn't see anything. So she turned around and walked towards the edge of the platform. Well, she didn't walked too much as a security guard grabbed her strongly by the arm and started yelling at her. He clearly thought she was going to commit suicide.

And then she reacted in the worst way possible: she started laughing, which made the scene even crazier. The man yelled even more and she just couldn't stop laughing. The situation was so ridiculous. And then, over the man's shoulder, she saw the tiny creature getting on an elevator. She didn't stay for the rest of the lecture, instead running towards the elevator which doors closed right in her face.

Kumiko ran up the stairs, for three floors, until she saw the tiny creature gliding down the handle of some other stairs. She wanted to laugh again but stopped herself from that as it would take a lot of her time. She ran, again, after the creature. Kumiko smiled as she ran down the stairs after the creature: it had been a long time since she had had this much fun. And it made her feel alive to see such a tiny fellow gliding and jumping and crawling. It was amazing to see it, so alive and desperate to keep living.

They got to a different platform to the one they had been before and the creature jump right into a waiting train and she did the same but through a different door. As the train began moving, she grabbed a metal pole and rested. She remembered playing with her friend in school ,running around and just being young. She missed badly, she missed them so much. Kumiko had invested her life on the thesis and in her career and she had left out all those other important things.

The train stopped and she stared through the window. The creature must have left already. No need to chase it. He would be able to fight for his life, hopefully not being stepped on or caught before he gets to a water source.

Kumiko walked past some busy people on the train, towards the back of the wagon, and stared at their faces while stroking the phone on her pocket. It was so sad for her, to be always so busy and giving importance to such stupid things, missing out so much from life.

The train slowed down again, this time on Takebashi station. Kumiko began thinking how to get back home from there, when suddenly the small creature jumped out of the train. She ran after him again and chased him to another elevator. The difference was this time she was able to get in with the octopus.

The trip towards the street was short but it was enough for her to see the small animal was not feeling very good. Its skin seemed pale and its tentacles were drying. Its escape stunts had taken their toll, leaving it too tired and almost dead.

When the elevator opened, they could see car and a street. The creature stepped out first and Kumiko decided not to intervene. It seemed as if the octopus knew were to go, which seemed crazy but the girl was sure something had brought it this far.

Then, she noticed were she was and she understood, as the octopus crawled towards the edge of the sidewalk. No, not to throw itself at the moving cars but on the other side. They were steps away from the Imperial Palace. And it had a surrounding moat and that was were the octopus was going. With its last breath, the creature used all of its tentacles to jumo over the railing to the water below.

Kumiko saw it all but was worried not to see it anymore. She knew the canals around the palace led, somehow, to the ocean but that must be a harder journey.

As she was getting worried, she saw the head and eyes of the creature, that sunk almost inmediately in the water, leaving a small trace in the water. Kumiko stayed there until she wasn't able to see nothing else.

An hour later, she was cooking in her house. Her mother had thanked her for the unexpected present but was disappointed to see Kumiko hadn't bought her favorite food, octopus. The daughter then told her she had a story to tell her. Her mother smiled and kissed her in the forehead.

 - You're a free woman now. And I want to hear all of your stories.

And for Kumiko, that was the cherry on top of such a strange and wonderful day.

domingo, 31 de agosto de 2014

Stop

Work, work, work. Break. Some coffee, by the window. Work, work, work. Another coffee, now walking to someone else's office. Work, work, work. Lunch time.

This is it. His time has come to opt out of everything he has always seen as he's life. This is no life.

Instead of eating with the same person he has always done so for the last 3 years, this man decides to go home and pack.

Where to go? Not important. But life's grip is tightening to much and he cannot keep fighting it.

Some shirts, couple of pants, two pairs of shoes and some underwear. That should be enough. He takes his passport, in the eventuality of traveling abroad. There are no real plans about where to go but that's precisely the idea.

He checks his phone: no calls, no messages, nothing. Better, he thinks, if they believe he's running late or has had some kind of problem.

Takes the backpack and walks to the door. After closing properly, he pushes the elevator's button and then a woman, older than him but still beautiful, stands closely. Her hair is messy, she even appears to be missing a day or two of careful grooming.

He looks at her big running pants and old shirt. There appears to be a lot of dust on her shoulders.

- It's taking quite long. - she says.

- Yeah... - he answers, no idea what's she's talking about.

No, he doesn't like to chat with strangers. But she does.

- You live here? - she asks.

- Leaving for some weeks.

Why he answered that, he has no idea. He's starting to sweat.

- I'm moving in. So weird to move from another city.

- Must be.

He really doesn't want to talk.

- Am I making you uncomfortable? - she asks, looking at him.

He cleans  some of the sweat off his forehead. He decides not to say a word.

- Sorry, I tend to over talk. Guess I'm nervous for the new job and everything.

Then something clicks inside his mind, like a key entering the keyhole.

He turns to her, watching her honey colored eyes and says:

- Don't you get fucking trapped by that job, ok?

He's dead serious. She knows it.

- Never become a zombie like they want you to be. Think for yourself, even if they don't give a fuck about it.

- Ok.

He falls silent.

She suddenly says he has remembered something at home and leaves, without saying a word.

The elevator arrives. He comes in and tightens the backpack.

As the door closes, he faintly smiles, rising his head, finally feeling as a real free man.