Yesterday I was rushing back to the office from lunch. I hurried onto the elevator with a Tupperware stuffed full of salad. Inside was a lady who was maybe 400 lbs. She shuffled over to give me room.
Her pants ballooned out with the folds of her skin and her cheeks were covered with soft short hair like a peach. She looked at me from the corner of her eye (her eyes were kind) and didn’t say anything.
I realized she looked exactly like my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Smith. She had the same little glasses that were on the end of her same nose and same eyes.
When it was nap time I would lay my sleeping mat under the long tables to hold hands with whichever new girlfriend there was that day. I was the only one who didn’t fall asleep during nap time. So I laid there and thought and stared at the bottom of the table. I had a new favorite color about as often as I had a new girlfriend and when I got bored I would go up to Mrs. Smith’s desk to tell her about my new favorite color. All the shades in the classroom were drawn except for the one right behind her, giving her the necessary light to look over our crayon drawings and math problems, haloing her head with a significance I can still picture to this day.
“Hi, Daniel. Which one is it today?”
“That’s a very nice choice.”
About halfway up the building the woman on the elevator turned to me. “At least the day’s more than half over,” she said. Her kind eyes shifted to and fro, unsure about what to say to a stranger in an elevator.
“Yeah you’re right.” The elevator door opened and she walked out. “Have a good one,” I said.