The rain slowed down the city this morning. The traffic was dense and I was more than 15 minutes late.
Elevator took ages to come. Out of three elevators in a fairly new business building only one was functioning, but being late I thought there would be no lines. A few minutes had passed and a lady came bringing a tray of steaming hot cappuccinos from the company’s restaurant. She wanted to go up two floors. She entered the elevator after me, greeted me calling my name in diminutive and asked me how I was. I said: “Well, cramps..” and put on a sad, exhausted face. She looked at me in astonishment: “Why, how, what from?”, and I had no choice but to go on: “You know my monthly problems…”, “Ah”, she said with a pensive look, as if trying to recollect a distant memory …..
The elevator takes us two levels down instead of three levels up. There enters another woman, closer to my age – 5 years younger, not that she looks it, poor thing. There the two of them engage in a discussion about stair climbing and the effort of it. The older woman says: “I have already climbed them once this morning, and I am still sweating like a pig” (she only had to go to the second floor). The younger one says in a lively, chipper voice: “I know, I can’t do it either… oh, my heart…. “The older one shifts her glance to me and goes on: “You girls, you have no idea what is ahead of you”. (I wasn’t that interested to find out about the horrors of menopause… Can it be worse than my persistent cramps, dizzy spells, nausea and faintness that I experience for days every single month). The younger woman does not stop her rambling about elevators and the monstrous effort of climbing stairs. The older one still does not vacillate in her discourse, and at one point looking at me she utters: “You’ll see when it is gone”…to which the younger woman adds: “It has already gone”.. With a bewildered look on her face, the older one needs convincing: “Has it already?”, the younger confirms: “Oh yes”. The older lady exits the elevator, leaving me alone with the younger one that is still lamenting about her heart and her loss of stamina.
Looking at her, I am trying to explain: “Viv, she was talking about menopause, she thought you had lost your period, got it?” The girl looks at me in surprise still trying to catch a breath from the exhaustion of having to wait for the elevator… “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.
The next stop is mine.
On my exit I give her a compassionate glance: “I have tachycardia too, you know”.