Day By Day

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Brief Encounter In an Elevator

I stepped onto the elevator and headed up to my apartment. Just as the doors were closing she slipped in behind me and pushed the button for the penthouse. Being male I could not help but notice that she was remarkably young and attractive. Had I been twenty- or thirty-something and single that fact would have filled my mind and I would have been madly thinking of a way to start a conversation, but well into my seventh decade and happily married, my thoughts quickly moved beyond the simple observation that for a few seconds at least I was alone with a beautiful woman to matters of greater import.

Over the past few months I had noted other young, attractive women going up to the penthouse apartment. I recalled that they had also been treated with great deference by the building staff. Who, I wondered, lives up there? I had heard that the unit had recently been sold but at the time had not noted who the new owner was. Now I was intrigued, but not for the reasons you might suppose.

She was speaking into a cell phone issuing clear, precise orders to someone in a calm and steady tone – clearly the voice of authority. Either she was a person of some importance or she was a personal assistant wielding the authority of some such person; probably the latter. I had seen such behavior before, when Bruce Willis had been renting the unit. That was interesting. Clearly my new neighbor was wealthy – multi-story penthouse apartments don’t come cheap – and it was likely that he or she was a person of some consequence, perhaps even famous. If so that would be good for property values in the building.

Yes, at my age and in the current housing market, a consideration of property values takes precedence over the presence of a beautiful woman.

She finished the call and closed her phone; then it struck me. She’s been talking on a cell phone inside the elevator! I’ve never been able to get a signal in here. I began to wonder what kind of phone she uses and who is her service provider?


I ventured to speak. “I can’t believe you got a signal here in the elevator.”

She laughed, “I know, amazing isn’t it?” She smiled at me.

Before I could reply the bell rang, the door opened, and I stepped out into the hallway in front of my apartment.

I turned back.

“Take care,” I said.

“You too…, bye!” The doors closed and she continued her journey upward.

Had I been twenty- or thirty-something and single I would have kicked myself for not having said something engaging. Now, though, I merely thought as I entered my apartment, “Damn, I didn’t have time to ask her what kind of phone she’s using.”

Later that evening, over dinner, some friends told me that our upstairs neighbor is indeed wealthy, powerful, and even famous – a major figure in the film industry.

Ah…, yes!

Things began to click into place – the beautiful youngsters, the servility of the staff, the frequent room service deliveries from the restaurants downstairs, etc.

The warm glow of understanding swelled within me, marred only by the lack of one important piece of information.

I still don’t know what kind of phone she was using.

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