February 18: on finding yourself alone in a lift

When you find yourself alone in a lift you are magnetically drawn to transgression. You magically become an arch villain. The simple closing of the lift doors turns you from Jekyll to Hyde and now you have eight or nine seconds to accomplish your secretest desire. Between the seventh floor and the ground floor can you say the word ‘fuck’ fifty times? Maybe you need to sing the line of your cheesiest pop anthem. Something by Queen perhaps. …Mama Mia Mama Mia. Mama. Mia let me go…! Or run around the four square metres of lift floor like some deranged hyena.
If the lift has a mirror the transformation is even more monstrous. Your image in the glass is phenomenological, existential. The lustre of your flesh is deeply real. These instants alone in the lift are moments of transfiguration. Here’s what to do. You approach the lift mirror. You lift your hands up to below the line of your chin and then you peel off the skin-tight latex mask you have been wearing all your life to reveal the mutant beneath. At this moment the lift door opens and a trio of blokes in cheap suits shuffle in.


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