The older I get, the more I go to the medical building which houses our doctors and their staffs.
It would be better to take the stairs to go to the 3rd, 4th, 5th floor or whatever, but to do that would be to deny me the human drama I like to call "Taking A Ride In The 515 Fairmount Elevator."
Who clambers aboard? Other patients. Occasionally a doctor. (Once, on my way to see Dr Delanois for a one-year check-up on my newly installed left knee, I found myself sharing the elevator with Dr Delanois himself. I told him why I was there. He asked to see my flex the knee, asked if there were any problems with it, and then said, "Save the copay, go home, you're fine.") A lot of delivery guys with their hand carts full of paper and medical supplies. People who work elsewhere in the building. Kids on their way for a checkup. Kids who just had a checkup and are enjoying lollipops. Medicine salespeople wheeling carts full of sample drugs and the promotional gewgaws they hand out: desk pads, hand sanitizer, pens, giant paperclips, mugs, everything. Lunch delivery people stanking up the car with goat cheese gyros and I don't know what-all else.
OK? All aboard? Now comes the portion of the show we call "Name That Floor," and everyone names their destination and the pilot - the person closest to the button panel - pushes the proper buttons and then waits for the door to close. And waits and waits.
Eventually, someone will call out, "It'll close if you hit the button, but of course the pilot cannot hear this because, by that time, the door is closing.
And we arrive at the second floor (Pediatrics, Family Planning) and you can count on this as the door slides open: someone waiting to get ON will push his way past people trying to get OFF because he got off on the wrong floor and needs to go to the third floor (Urology) in a hurry.
Another fun aspect of the ride is that there are floors that have no occupants listed on the directory. Are they vacant? Or are they home to some secret government organization that tracks our comings and goings and flu shots?
Another is that there is often a guy among the six or eight humans wedged into the steel box of joy who will pipe up, "I suppose you're all wondering why I've asked you to meet me here today..."
I won't give his name, but his initials are Yours Truly.