I was five or six when my mom had back surgery. There are a few things I remember about this, like staying with different family members after school, and visiting mom in the hospital. I remember she was in a dimly lit room with some kind of metal frame surrounding her. I don’t really remember a whole lot about visiting her. Probably because I was too traumatized on the way up to see her.
Grandmama had brought me to the hospital. We entered the elevator with an older lady who had an oxygen tank in tow. I’m pretty sure I had never seen someone hooked up to oxygen before. And since she was already a little bit scary looking with her bulging eyes and her sunk-in cheeks, let’s just say that I didn’t want to get anywhere near her or her freaky tank that was connected to her. I was already on edge. I realize she probably wasn’t really that scary in the grand scheme of things, but she was a scary sight for me as a six year old. I kept Grandmama between me and Scary Oxygen Lady.
Then the elevator stopped.
And I freaked out.
I felt like the walls were closing in on me, forcing me to get closer to Scary Oxygen Lady. I practically climbed up Grandmama’s leg as Scary Oxygen Lady finally picked up the emergency phone in the elevator and called whoever it is you call on the emergency phone. I don’t remember anything she said except, “Hurry. There’s a little boy that’s pretty scared because the elevator has stopped.”
I tried to figure out a way to let everyone know that I wasn’t just scared because of the elevator stopping. I was scared out of my mind because I’d never seen anyone hooked up to oxygen like that before. And now I was stuck with her.
They eventually got us out. I think it took one or two years. Maybe a decade.
For years, I refused to ride the elevator. Mom and Kevin would get on and ride with no problem. Me? I took the stairs. I was scared to death of riding elevators. I’m pretty sure I had an unhealthy obsession with potentially getting stuck in another elevator. I’m pretty sure it could have been classified as a phobia.
It’s a good thing I wasn’t in Brazil when they did this prank. Because if this had happened to me, I don’t think I’d even be able to go into a building with an elevator ever again.