Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living in an elevator

You know how you step onto an elevator, and immediately, every one shuffles back for you to fit, with out a word said and no eye contact made. Everyone faces the front, and the trip is in silence. Temporarily, your personal space bubble shrinks. You politely ignore the fact that the briefcase of the guy next to you is digging into your side. You breathe shallowly, feet together, elbows in, taking up as little space as possible.

I have a theory, that the same unspoken rules apply to modern life, with so many people, living in such close proximity.
Living in a block of units, with large blocks of units on two sides of our block, and another block across the road... We are living in an elevator.

(The purple arrow is pointing to my place)

When you live in an elevator, your personal space bubble is permanently shrunk. We pretend that we don't see each other. You ignore the fact that you can hear each other laugh, sneeze and cry. You pretend you can't hear anyone fighting, or making love, and pray that you are quiet enough, yourself. Curtains have to be closed, because it is too easy to see across into the neighbours place, and for them to see into yours. You feel self conscious hanging out the washing, taking out the rubbish, even checking the mail. You never say hi, or make eye contact, because of the unspoken elevator rules.

Life can be claustrophobic, and pretty lonely.

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