047 - junk roll
Vincent pressed the elevator button. It lit up. He looked up. Above the doorway a little red electronic display indicated that the elevator was not waiting for him at the lobby. It was on the twelfth floor, and not currently moving. Someone must have gotten off there. It was possible that someone had pressed the elevator button on the twelfth floor and then decided to give up and just take the stairs. Vincent considered that unlikely though, since the twelve flights of stairs would not be a small amount, even downhill.
Or perhaps someone was getting into the elevator and had just taken their sweet time choosing a floor, and thus the elevator just sat static on the twelfth floor for the time being. However, quickly after Vincent's button push was recognized, the downward arrow illuminated, and Vincent knew it was coming.
Still, the elevator was slow and he knew that he would have a little wait yet. The heat was sweltering. The lobby to his building was air conditioned, but it seemed to be doing no good. The news said that this heat was breaking all kinds of records.
Every year they said that, though. Vincent didn't doubt that it was true, but it just had become something of a fact of life. Nothing worth commenting on, at least not on the nightly news.
When he had pressed the button, he felt his sweaty finger leave the slightest of imprints on the surface. No bother, while it certainly was a little disgusting in itself, he had to figure that anyone touching anything right now was leaving a little bit of themselves behind, and so nothing much could be done about one of the inevitable circumstances of these conditions.
The elevator bell gave a little ding. It had arrived at the lobby floor. The door opened, and no one was inside. Vincent stepped across the threshold. As he did so, he looked down and noticed the little crack in between the floor of the elevator and of the lobby. He wondered what would happen if he dropped his keys down there. It was possible, since he typically had his apartment keys in his hand when he was boarding the elevator. So, he gripped them especially tightly as he walked across the gap, as he always did.
Once he was inside, Vincent pressed down the button for the sixth floor, again leaving the littlest trace of sweat on the button. The doors stood open for a second, and then they started to close. Just at that moment, a voice rang out from the distance.
"Hold that elevator!" it shouted. Vincent quickly put his arm out, triggering the sensors in the door. They swung back open. A few moments later, a man out of breath ran into the elevator car. He looked familiar to Vincent, and he was carrying a bag.
"Thanks buddy," the man said to Vincent as the doors slammed shut, and the man pressed down the button for the twentieth floor. "This damn elevator's just so slow, you know? I really didn't want to have to wait."
"No problem," Vincent replied. Then it came to him. This was Walter Lampazzi, the famous actor who had been in all those action movies! Vincent was excited, but he didn't want to be some annoying jerk, so he just bit his tongue and sat there quietly, silently enjoying the fact that he was sharing an elevator with Hollywood royalty.
Soon the elevator bell once again dinged. They had arrived at the sixth floor. Vincent began to step off, and as he did so, he gave Walter a goodbye nod typical in these kinds of situations.
"Hey, wait a minute," Walter said. "Here, I want you to have this, for helping me with the elevator earlier." Walter produced a small potted tomato plant from the brown paper bag he was holding. He handed the plant to Vincent. Vincent had no chance to decline, as the doors were already closing.
"Name's Walter, by the way." Vincent just stood there, holding the tomato plant. "I'm Vincent. Thanks."
"No, thank you. See you around." The elevator doors finished closing and it continued on its upward journey.