The Last Ride
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Last Day At Work
Ortigas Centre, Philippines (September 2004)
The numbers kept changing. You'd hope it were the prices for fish products at the wet market. But reality check is that prices never go down like the numbers on the elevator screen. 19....18....17...
The ride was nary of a companion, maybe to emphasize my last elevator lift. I can even hear my own breathing. I look at the names of the companies on the screen again. How many of them have come and go in the 3 years I've been riding the lift. Investment in the country has looked up and down, just like this elevator.
The doors open at the 17th floor, yet no one comes in. Must be the ghost of Orient Square as we friends sometimes joke about everytime we stay late at night. Trying to beat a deadline, we'd be in the office til the yee hours (past the wee). Those nights have paid off, we think.
The elevator skips 16 to 7th. What could have been the reason, did life just suddenly skip, did it change so fast that we never realized what could have been on those missing 9 floors? Did my life skip 9 lifetimes too? Did I go fast or past on living?
The doors open at the 6th, people start to join in and life is better. I listen to their banter, as I get pushed to the back. I even thought I was invisible as this lady kept on moving back, hitting my right shoulder, not even saying sorry. Typical Filipino like me wouldn't mind it and not confront the lady. Well besides she didnt mean it, we never really are that vocal of our emotions, even to the point of being stepped on, trampled and abused. That should change.
I got out last. I can still smell the perfume of the last person in front of me. It was the so-90s Clinique Happy. I wonder whether she was like her perfume. I was wearing a Boss. Do our perfumes describe us?
I stepped out and looked back at that meter-wide lift (we should call it "elevator" as Dindin would say since we're not from England), and realized how many times I've ridden on it. And this being my last.
Well I promised my self that next time, I'll take the stairs...and see what's in between 7th and 16th floors. That's for another time.
Isn't life passing us by so fast, we never really saw some of our days too?