Elevator

The doors slide shut. Here, in Saint Otis' tiny Chapel of the Swift Ascension,
three or four may gather in his name. A mute congregation, our silence almost sounds like reverence.

Identities are canceled here, but grains of community aggregate anew as we glean what may be gleaned from human surfaces: the cloth coat, the billed cap, the brief case, the tinted cheek, the downcast eye. What have we to share or make communion of? Nothing and everything.

We are here.

Our knees feel a spirit move, but we do not kneel. No posture of humility is called for here; no hubris animates us here. Gathering speed, we ascend together. Overhead a counter like a ticking calendar measures the journey.

Belief that loved ones wait for us above occurs not here. Here we share the only faith that can bind strangers: we will not meet again forever.

Otis, the ungracious pastor, has borne us to a floor of stark singularity, a thought that withers blooming: Here NOTHING... NOT A THING... NO THING... matters at all.

The doors slide open. "Have a nice day."