Tuesday, December 7, 2010


We walk into the elevator as the sliding doors open up like the gates of heaven. She pushes the number four button with ease. The straight line of circular lighted numbers above our heads brighten one at a time like a nightlight as we stand there silently. I’ve always wondered why elevators house the most awkward situations in everyday life. No one says a word, waiting to get from one place to another in such a cramped and sometimes stuffy area. One, two, three, four, and then a short ding soon follows. We turn down the right side of the hallway where one door has a handmade wooden “Jesus Saves” sign hanging from their door, while the apartment next door still has a Christmas reef from last year planted with a nail dangling from their door. We reach apartment number four hundred and seven, Asuka’s plain door with no decorations evident, except a small pot with a growing bamboo plant. It’s in the beginning stages, she said. She juggles in her purse trying to find her keys. Ah, right at the bottom where they always are, she said soon after. She opens her door and a draft of wind hits my face, her window was left open with transparent white shades blowing like a loose prom dress. She walks to the kitchen, fills a tin teakettle with water from the tap and switches on the gas stove. A cracking noise fires up for less than a second; her mouth closed not saying a word as she puts the teakettle on top of the burner. “We’ll wait. Let’s go sit in the living room now,” taking my hand and guiding me through.

by derekwong