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Elevator Pitch

Chaia Frishman

The closets in my home had the power to move through the walls! My house was surely the coolest on the block

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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Photo: Shutterstock

A newly shellacked floor paved the way for my quick exit from the closet in my bedroom. I flew across the stained gray carpet of my childhood home. With eyes still closed and a shaky gait, I lumbered down the stairs, and ran into the coat closet, directly under the closet in my bedroom. As I entered, a blue raincoat (circa 1960) suffocated me. Eureka! I had descended!

At eight years old, I lived in my own world. No friends within walking distance, no neighbors my age. I spent a lot of time alone. At home. Thinking.

One day I decided that my bedroom closet was no ordinary closet. Since my bedroom was directly above the living room downstairs, I deduced there must be an imaginary conduit connecting the floors. When I was physically entering the clothing repository, I was metaphysically taking a ride down on the elevator.

The process was simple. I entered the closet in my room. Then I closed my eyes, opened the door, exited the closet and then my room. I ran down the stairs (miraculously not crashing into anyone or anything) and ended up into the coat closet. At this point I opened my eyes, satisfied that my elevator worked.

The closets in my home had the power to move through the walls! My house was surely the coolest on the block.

Even as I write this, almost 35 years later, I’m hard-pressed to believe that it happened any other way.

Let’s be clear, this wasn’t a magical elevator. To me, this was a bona fide operational one. I was never technically savvy. I vaguely knew that elevators work on pulleys and ropes (or something complicated like that), but that ignorance worked to my advantage. The less realism I lived with, the more probable it was that my elevator would work. Don’t authentic elevators run on fairy dust, too? My elevator transported me from point A to point B. Who cared that my mind was the catalyst for transportation. I’d reached my destination, hadn’t I?

But just as imaginary blankets or make-believe friends disappear, so did my elevator. It served its purpose for only a few years.

As I got older, independence to travel alone coupled with good old maturity had me using the stairs in the house a lot more. But still, I am forever grateful for that elevator. Its existence gave me muscles of imagination.

It’s probably why I believe that the student who has yet to pass a vocabulary test has the potential to be a poet laureate, and that the most bizarre combinations of ingredients can yield not just a concoction, but a masterpiece.

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