Going Down

Elevator from "The Shining"

I travelled to see the chiropractor today, though he didn’t show up. The office is downstairs in the sub-basement of a post-war building on Lexington Avenue, and I pressed the “down” button. As I was getting in, a tall, skinny young black guy in a nice black suit and a shiny red motorcycle helmet resting on top of his head like a second head, got in. The doors closed and he said, “Oooo. You’re going down“—like he knew what had been happening lately: that I couldn’t stop crying, and probably needed some medical help or else I might not be able to get out of bed in the morning. I said, “Yes,” and laughed a little, and then said, “Sorry,” about taking him down with me. He looked at me and he said, “Don’t worry—you’ll be O.K.,” and smiled. Which was just weird, and also comforting. When the doors opened, I told him I liked his hat and he kind of tipped it at me (as much as one can tip a motorcycle helmet), and I got off.

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