Our Elevator

Several months ago a sign went up on our little two person elevator in our flat saying that for the month of September it would go through a process of “modernization”. Personally I was very glad… those who have visited us you know why. When you got in and pushed the button, you could actually feel the elevator “thinking” about whether he was going to take you up or not…often he didn’t. It was not necessarily a question of weight…some times I think he just got tired of going up and decided not to.

And then there was the problem of the interior doors…if you got in their way, they just opened and closed quickly….whacking you around until you got out of their way, allowing them to close.

I must admit that I had certain expectations as to what the “moderization” of the ascenseur was going to look like…totally new, shiny little cabin…or even a bigger one….with cool buttons….new more gentle doors, etc

Anyway….after two months of work (not one) the lift started working again. Evidently most of the “modernization” went into the motor, cables and guides….because doors are the same and the cabin was the same except for new buttons….which are now lower….for people in wheelchairs…although there is no way a wheelchair would fit in. Don’t get me wrong….I’m glad the mechanics were the priority of the upgrade….but I must admit I’m a bit disappointed in what “modernity” turned out to be.

Then only a couple of weeks into “modernity” and I kept finding people stuck in the ascenseur between floors…three people in about two days. Fortunately, someone showed me the secret reset button the day we were moving in…..because I messed the thing up to the point of needing a reset. What a great way to become known and greatly appreciated by your neighbors….rescuing them from the elevator.

So I guess, I have now entered into a kind of post-modern elevator malaise. It is actually a nice little metaphor for post-modernity…the disappointment with what modernity turned out to be….knowing that it really didn’t fix all the things that were wrong…the despair of actually being trapped between it’s systems….

So most people in our flat are resorting to the obvious pre-modern solution….walk up the steps with your own two legs…trying to realize how much weigh you may be loosing in the process.