I got home from work tonight a little before six. I got onto the elevator and pushed my floor. It stopped on the 6th floor, and a man got on. I’d seen him around the building on prior occasions. He looked at the button panel, and seeing that the 20th floor was illuminated, looked at me and said, “Hi, my name is Thomas, you live on the 20th floor?” I said that I did. He proceed to say that he moved onto the floor a couple of months ago from the 10th, and that his wife won’t come into the building. The first time he said that, it didn’t really register. I welcomed him to the floor and offered some throwaway comment about how it was a good building. He said, “you should talk to my wife, because she just refuses to come into the building.” Not that she didn’t like the place, but that she absolutely refused to enter. With that, we arrived at the floor and headed our opposing directions to our apartments.
I walked into my apartment, feeling like there were about a hundred questions I should have asked. Why does he live in a building that his wife won’t enter? Why has he upgraded his apartment to another, if his wife isn’t willing to ever see it? Where is his wife? And why the hell is he telling someone he just met on the elevator that she is vehemently opposed to the place we both live?
It was an oddly placed admission of some serious marital issues in a tone of voice that would have been more appropriate discussing the weather. It felt like I’d been given a little unsolicited peek into a stranger’s storage closet, the one with all the discarded kitchen utensils, out-of-date coats, Halloween costumes, broken appliances and abandoned crafty projects.
I’m seriously considering asking him some of my questions, next time I see him.