{ Wednesday, December 07, 2005 }

Scary Stairs

So, we live on the fourth (and fifth) floor, and we park in the basement. It's a well documented fact that I do not care for elevators. I don't know when the last time was that you took the stairs above the third floor of the building, but they tend to be out of the way, isolated and not at all pretty.

I take the stairs every time I go to the car. On the way home, I take the elevator back up. Every single time.

Now, this building isn't old. We're the first people to ever live in this apartment. But the stairs never did seem that sturdy. It appears that they were fashioned out of aluminum cans and someone used that flaky elementary school paste to secure them to the landings.

They've always been a bit wobbly. And they're really loud. And now they are also dented. Nothing inspires confidence in me like dented, wobbly stairs.

And now you can see where the metal has chipped away at the cement landings. On the lower floors, where more people obviously take the stairs rather than wait for the elevator, you can actually see all the way through where the stairs are supposed to meet the landings in spots.

On my way to work every morning, I am running late and it's a little bit chilly outside and I immediately dash into the stairwell. I get about halfway down and then I remember that these stairs are not safe. And then I spend the next twenty-five minutes in the car imagining what would have happened to me if they finally gave out. Because worrying is what I do best.

Would I end up dangling from the bannister? Would my shoulder dislocate? Would I fall down? Would I fall down the remaining stairs or would I fall to the next landing? How far is that? Which bones would break? Does my cell phone get enough reception that I could dial 911? How often does someone even set foot in the stairway?

Would I even be conscious? Would there be brain damage? What if just my leg got caught in the hole? How torn up would it be? Would the scars be bad? I goes on from there, worrying about my job and Steady and how thoroughly my mother would scrub our apartment once she arrived and how many loads of laundry she'd do...

It's all really very healthy, obviously. And when I realize just how insane this all sounds in my little head, I vow to stop taking the stairs. I should just get in the elevator. It does appear structurally sound. I should call the leasing office the second I get into work and tell them about the stairs...

And then? The next time I leave the aparment, I run right back into the scary stairwell.

posted by mary ann 7:23 PM