I was going to post this at VoA (and did), as well as at GC. But I got busy...
The little nameless girl on the elevator the other day.
I was headed for the 18th floor on a lonely Wednesday afternoon. My head was full of the tasks I was planning for the next day's pleasure flight out of one of Toronto's airports so I wasn't really that aware of my surroundings. I didn't need to be since I'd been standing in front of this very elevator door many times. My two ears were full of earbuds playing "Hard Habit To Break" by the music group Chicago. I didn't hear the crash at my feet where a tiny three-wheeled kid's trike toppled out of the hands of the dirty-haired, wide-eyed young girl now struggling to set it back upright. But I saw it. Then I saw Her. My eyes told me that She had grinned and verbally apologized to me but the earbuds had my brain bouncing to the music's rhythm. My heart stopped, though. All little girls do that to me. I'm too old to be immediately frozen in horny lust and too much in public view to do anything about it, anyway. Then there was Her father who seemed to be shaking her left arm protesting against Her social misdeed. The frown forming in Her face had me take a quick look at the angered clouds in the man's face. Two very different effects on me mixed in intense circles. My heart ached in pain for what the little girl was suffering. My stomach and throat tightened into knots of anger for what the man was punishing the girl with: he spouted quick, biting words of exasperation. In me, I pondered thoughts of retribution against him and a warm, protective embrace for Her.
The tiny trike slowly rolled over my bare toes at the front of my sandals as the three of us stepped into the empty room and pushed our desired buttons and waited for the door to close. Above the smooth bass rumble out of my earbuds, I could hear the man yell at the girl. The security camera above my left shoulder reminded me to stay my voice. And balled up hands. I ignored the hot fury I wanted to unleash on him and focused on the smile that the girl was now giving me. Her eyes glistened in pleasure at my own answering smile. She was ignoring him and focusing Her attention on me. I reached up and touched the right earbud to pause my music. I wanted to tell Her:
Don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart
And I believe in love
But what else can I do
I'm so in love with you
I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It will be coming around again
(Thank you, Carly Simon.)
The man was amidst a new flurry of Punjabi words at the child and I quickly raised my head beaming with the brightest smile I could come up with. The man stopped and looked up at me, also. My face grew hot as the indignation colored my face red and my brows instantly dropped in outrage. He jerked Her arm again and continued his tirade against Her. I almost choked. Yet...
As Her hair swooshed briefly about Her in response to Her father's tugs and twists, She maintained eye contact with me and that heart-melting smile sculpted its existence into my memory. He tugged at Her and She even giggled at my frowned smile. She was the inspiration for me to continue my visional love affair with Her. Pressure lightened on our feet as the elevator slowed to its 16th floor arrival and the door opened. Her father took a brisk step into the hallway and yanked Her arm violently. The trike remained by my feet. The door began to close as the little girl struggled to keep Her radiant eyes on me from the hallway. My foot interrupted the closing of the door which obediently re-opened. I pointed at the trike and stared at Her father. He pushed Her arm and bade Her to retrieve the trike. She glanced at it, walked back into the elevator and lifted Her head to continue displaying Her gift-image of Her cheerful face at me. Her father yelled again and I shot a quick harsh look at him. He waited for Her to drag Her trike out.
The door closed and I continued my trip two levels further.