Friday, August 1, 2014

Evelat* (for Elevat* or Revelat*)

It's been known to happen before in my building, but in more than thirty years there, it had never happened to me. While I was working at the library a couple of weeks ago, I got trapped in the elevator. Ironically, I didn't even have my crossword puzzle with me as I was just going down to to the lobby to meet a friend who had stopped by to view an exhibit a coworker and I had recently installed about the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs. Incidentally, I hope that those elevated conveyances at the World's Fair worked a little better than this scary ride in my own fair world! (Um, no offense there, Elly. You're usually a delight.) I was kind of glad at first that there was no one in there with me. No overly chatty or panicky coworkers, no sketchy or bitchy patrons (it happens). But then there was nobody there to keep me company either. I suppose the worst part was having nothing to read, and the best part was not having had to pee. I recited Kubla Khan, first to myself and then out loud, and then tried a few other poems I had once had down, though it seems not so much anymore. When it came to The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, after stumbling through the verse that starts out, "Ah, distinctly, I remember," I found that I no longer could. (It was bleak in there, but it wasn't December.) Getting stuck on stanzas started to make me think of getting stuck between floors, so I finally sat down and began writing this blog entry instead. Although quite the revelation, in a way, the whole thing was really just boring, if perhaps no more boring, really, than a typical summer Saturday at the library can be. So I counted my blessings, then counted them again, and eventually, after an hour and twenty minutes had gone by, the elevator man arrived and rescued me. There were three cases of Evelat* in OhioLINK today (two of which were French typos for élévation and the other one an English typo for revelation), and 68 in WorldCat. Be on the lookout for this one in your own catalog and if you find any examples of it stuck in there, get them out. And speaking from personal experience, I'd say the sooner it's done the better. In other words, see you later, elevator!

(1964 New York World's Fair, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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