“The elevator is incredibly full today,” Pino thinks to himself as he enters the shared uplifting chaos. He stands in a dark and unforgiving chamber, which has commonly been called an elevator because of its talent to literally elevate its occupants above the rest of society.
Sneering at the potential metaphorical significance of their forced mode of transportation, a group of four interchangeable businessmen sluggishly make room for Pino.
Immediately, several spaced out eyes accidentally discharge deadly stares in Pino’s direction. Everyone, for one brief and insignificant moment, is temporally attacking his every activity. “They all must be judging me for something,” he assumes.
In an effort of self preservation, Pino looks to his feet to discover blue loafers instead of his usual dark black dress shoes. His involuntary faux pas of wearing the wrong shoes—clearly a lazy and careless blunder—will prove, in the fullness of time, to lead to his eventual expulsion from reality.
“Do I even own blue shoes,” he tries to remember. “Nobody else owns blue shoes.” According to his managers, people obviously dress their toes in only black dress shoes. That’s what is expected. Currently his left blue shoe is painfully crushed by three—certain in their shoeness—black dress shoe
“How could I be so careless,” Pino thinks as he loses his footing, just barely preventing a devastating collision with a few businessmen named Erwin collectively—the Fourth of whom happens to be a superior member at Pino’s firm.
“Be careful,” commands Erwin over the soundless closing of the cold steel doors.
“Don’t yell,” instructs Another Erwin inversely.
Ignoring the hubbub growing in the lift, Pino begins to panic over his stupidity. “The Boss has fired people for less,” he aggressively says to himself as the metal prism rises into the clouds limited to the thirty-fifth floor. “What if Erwin reports me for my inadequacies,” he nervously mumbles.
A Third Erwin asks Another Erwin, “Who said that?” The First Erwin shrugs and responds to his fellow man of industry, “I didn’t say anything, Erwin.”
In the corner, a Fourth Erwin—whose elbow is comfortably wedged into Pino’s shoulder blade —is moderately confused. “How does Erwin know who I am,” the Fourth Erwin asks himself.
“Who said that,” yells The First Erwin. “Not me,” thinks Erwin Second through Fourth.
Despite the brewing commotion, Pino imagines jumping off the thirty-fifth floor in favor of his possible professional termination. He is so trapped in internal panic that he doesn’t even notice the triple Erwin exodus, on the thirty-fifth floor.
If Pino had been more active, perhaps he wouldn’t have to suffer from his potential fate.
“Maybe I should ask Mr. Erwin for advice,” he contemplates. “No, my request will be seen as an act of defiance. Who am I to speak out? If I speak, I will be fired for sure.” He remains silent.
With the once crowded elevator relatively empty, The Fourth Erwin looks at his own blue loafers and begins to panic. “What color are my shoes?” he silently whimpers. “How could I be so clueless? The Boss fired lowercase erwin for less just last week.”
With only one flight left till his destination, Fourth Erwin quickly calculates how long a descent from the thirty-fifth floor would personally take. “Will I land on my feet,” he wonders. “Maybe I can use a subordinate to break my fall.”
The riders continue to panic as the elevator makes its way elsewhere. “I still haven’t come up with a solution to my shoe situation,” Pino sadly meows to himself. “I might be late already” (even though his watch and phone were recently stolen by multiple Erwins on floors nineteen and thirty five collectively).
“Look past your feet, Pino,” says a mysterious voice.
“Did you say that, sir?” Pino hesitantly asks Erwin, hoping that his blue misstep will remain hidden.
“No,” cries the voice again, “Erwin cannot speak in his current state.”
Completely oblivious to the unfamiliar voice, Fourth Erwin remains in his previous panic, utterly unaware that his entire body has turned into a luminous shade of Locksberry Blue – named after a portly educator at the University of California Santa Barbara.
“I’ll die if I lose my job,” he murmurs incoherently.
Pino observes Erwin’s dread. Slow streams of shimmering sweat drip down the manager’s forehead.
“He looks so helpless,” Pino thinks as he begins to question why he listens to this man’s vaporous words in the first place. He looks down at his blue shoes and wonders, “Am I any different?”
“I’m beginning to see your point, sir,” responds Pino to the void.
“You see and I see, even though I do not have eyes,” The voice softly replies.
This confuses Pino because looking back he has always had eyes and yet in the moment, behind his back, Erwin silently and quite literally melts into a fearful pool of Blue Locksberry jelly.
A loud elevator BING wrenches Pino from the depths of his mind.
“Time to move on,” guides the voice.
The elevator door slowly opens into complete and unforgiving blackness. Peering into the nothingness below, Pino is hesitant. He glances at his feet, a brilliant blue light fighting the darkness below.
“Is this my floor?” he stammers, peering down into the endless abyss.
“How bizarre… is it a trick?”
There is no answer to his question.
“Hello,” he screams.
“How frustrating! This is what I get for speaking out!”
“Please come back, sir.”
Still unsure, he takes a step back into the safety of his box. Unfortunately—due to a pair of traction-less, blue loafers—a slippery puddle of Erwin responsively hurls Pino outwardly into oblivion.