Around the tower
Down below, in the parking lot, there’s an old gray truck—the kind you’d see with “SWAT” painted on the side, or maybe with a little window to serve out ice cream.
It has a boot on its front tire. Roommate Adrian remembered seeing the driver out there a few weeks ago, getting the boot removed the first time.
“He was a vet, and in a wheelchair. Nice guy. He saw me in uniform and talked with me for a while. He got them to take the boot off his truck.”
But the boot was back on. I hadn’t seen this guy, myself, but wondered about him every morning and afternoon I passed the truck.
In the night, the distant city lights atop our fellow high rises flicker with the heat, like ground-borne stars, millions of times dimmer, closer, and less impressive. The siren calls of police and the ambulance validate the skyline as urban and hush the concerns of us here that maybe we had slipped out of the hip metropolitan and into the wilds of rural America.
Yesterday evening I entered the elevator at the bottom-most floor and stopped one up in the lobby. In came five women, who each stopped at the door, startled at seeing a man in an Army physical fitness uniform drenched in sweat, clutching a large black plastic bin.
I’m sure things would have made more sense if I offered the information that I’d just returned from a run, remembered I had a bin of things in my car, fetched it on the way in, and was just now heading toward my 15th floor apartment. But I just smiled, squinting at the salt stinging my eyes, leaving each to take in the scene.
“What floor?” one of the ladies asked. My choice had already been selected.
Turns out we all were going to the 15th floor. Figure the odds that six people entering an elevator would all be from the same floor? We had a few chuckles about it and said we should host a social event in the elevators—serve refreshments to other residents and such, all from the friendship garnered from a chance trip upstairs. I made the obvious line about showering next time. Laughs all around.
And then came Tuesday.