Destination: Trip Interrupted
Most mornings I walk to Mega, buying fresh ingredients (and maybe a few beers) from which my wife creates fabulous meals and desserts.
On this particular morning I arrived back from the store with my bag of groceries, entered the elevator and off I went to the sixth floor. Suddenly, there was total darkness, a loud clunk and a jerk as the elevator ground to a halt.
I was trapped in an elevator!
Alone! It’s really dark in a broken elevator.
Where were the emergency lights?
Should I stand or sit?
Not the first time the power has gone out in our building, I was not panicking yet. As well as dark, it was also quiet. No noise from outside.
Did anyone even know I was here?
Debating if I should yell for help in English or Spanish, I put my groceries down and performed a mental inventory, estimating my chances of survival trapped in a dark, claustrophobic metal box.
My stash comprised; a one liter bottle of cold Bud beer (thirty pesos, twist off), two liters warm Pepsi, a steak and a few veggies. I assumed I could survive a few days, but realistically, I should drink the beer first as it would taste best cold and the Pepsi was always going to be warm; same logic for the steak and vegetables. Veggies were never going to taste good so would leave them for desperate times.
My long term survival plan was established, now to alert someone. I opted for yelling HELP in English.
I had my cell phone but no time. I could still receive calls, there was hope. Using the light on my phone I located the emergency button.
Yeah, I was saved.
The alarm sounded disappointingly like a beeping smoke detector with a low battery. I considered opening the beer at that point while it was still cold.
No panic yet.
I debated the merits of holding my finger on the emergency button or establishing a SOS pattern. I alternated between both as well as yelling and checking the temperature of the beer.
Finally, someone answered, telling me maintenance was on their way. Then, everything was quiet again. It wasn’t the warm fuzzy rescued feeling I was expecting.
Who was coming, an elevator repair specialist or a local maintenance guy, and when?
Why was it so silent?
Where was my rescuer?
Was the beer still cold?
I managed to pry the doors apart slightly but it was still dark so I reasoned I was stuck between floors; no escape that way.
Suddenly, the lights were on.
The elevator did not budge. Something to do with the slightly open doors perhaps? I secured the doors and it lurched upwards. Yeah!
Then it headed down. It opened on the first floor. I grabbed my groceries and hastily exited my “tomb of death”.
I noticed several residents in the parking lot gazing in the opposite direction and no one observed my daring escape.
I sprinted up the stairs, past the second floor before tiring and considered leaving the vegetables and Pepsi behind.
Using my years of athletic training I blocked out the pain, and walked to freedom, escaping a harrowing nightmare trapped in a Mexican elevator.
Total time trapped, fifteen Mexican minutes.
My wife did not even notice me missing.
The beer was still cold, but it wasn’t noon yet.