Tuesday, October 10, 2006
It was love at first sight when I met her in the lobby. She was slim, well-adorned, and complicated - like every other Parisian girl I would come to know.
Ellie's slender shape is what originally caught my eye. She's tiny, accomodating only three French or two American riders. Four have been known to ascend, fuelled by hope and red wine. Four have also been known to get stuck.
Pull back Ellie's glossy black outer door and there's a golden retractable gate. Once inside, her buttons must be pressed delicately and held for at least a few seconds. She will tolerate no thick-fingered jabbing.
The list of other things that Ellie will not tolerate has grown over time. There have been minor tantrums and strandings all along, but our real trouble began last winter. Without warning one day she refused to come to my floor. No technician in the world could convince her to return to me. There was nothing to do but get out at 5 or 7 and walk.
I'm not the only tenant on the outs with Ellie. More recently she has refused, following a fight with the conceirge, to visit the lobby. This creates the odd necessity of climbing up one flight in order to ride for 4 or 6 and then walk one. Try explaining that to a visitor.
With all of this drama, my legs have understandably started to wander a bit. I've been sneaking around and climbing the stairs behind Ellie's back. It makes me feel better about myself, less dependent. The more I climb, the more I realize I don't need her anymore.
We both know that it's over. And yet last night - when it was late and I'd had to much to drink - I found myself still wanting to be inside of her. Ellie opened up and took me in without a word. We moved silently in the dark as if nothing bad had ever happened.
Call it a breakup ride.