Andrea Lynn Koohi ~ Going Down

On floor six the ele­va­tor doors opened and I saw that a man was already inside. I looked around for signs say­ing two was too many, but he moved to the side so I fig­ured it was fine. I tucked myself into the oppo­site side and we rode down togeth­er like mag­nets repelling, pushed to our cor­ners of the descend­ing box.

At floor three the doors opened and an old lady entered, slow­ly with a limp and a leop­ard print mask. She glanced at me first and then at the man, then turned to face the doors as they squeaked their way closed. The light from above caught the red in her hair, grey roots emerg­ing to crown her head.

She sighed. “Things aren’t like they used to be,” she said to the doors or to us or to herself.

It sound­ed true enough so I felt myself nod­ding and the man said “that’s right”, while his eyes met mine in the space behind her head, crin­kled crow’s feet telling me he was smil­ing. My cheeks brushed fab­ric as I smiled back.

The old lady moved clos­er to the crack between the doors. “Things will nev­er be like they used to be,” she said.

My eyes shift­ed to her head, to where red turned to grey. I won­dered how many years used to be was in her life. I imag­ined the years stacked like the bricks of a house. Never hung between us like a stilled wreck­ing ball.

This time the man had no response, or if he did, I didn’t hear. We stopped at ground lev­el and the old lady exit­ed. I fol­lowed behind her with­out glanc­ing his way, just keep­ing my dis­tance, feel­ing how eas­i­ly they both fell away.


Andrea Lynn Koohi is a Canadian writer with recent work appear­ing or forth­com­ing in Pithead Chapel, trampset, Cleaver Magazine, fill­ing Station, Sunlight Press, Lost Balloon and oth­ers. Follow her on Twitter @AndreaKoohi