Hemingway once said the best way to start a good short story is to find a true sentence. So here’s my sentence: For me, the best way to experience a cold shower is to watch someone else take it. Last Friday, I saw a man taking a cold shower. It was in an elevator. I had been invited to a job interview, which was on the top floor of a skyscraper.
The skyscraper was really tall, it didn’t just scrape the clouds, it towered over them by a few miles. That elevator ride took quite a long time. That’s why they had built a shower into the elevator cabin, a time saving device for the executives.
Why this man didn’t take a hot shower, I don’t know. He had probably read that a cold shower refreshed the mind and made money making even easier. What I also didn’t understand: Why was there a glass wall between the shower and the rest of the cabin? Executives probably loved to watch one of them taking cold showers because it proved what tough guys they were.
There were five of us in the cabin and we were all staring at the glass wall in front of the shower. I couldn’t help but think about my ever-increasing body weight. That’s when something happened that would change our lives forever. The elevator stopped somewhere above the clouds and a short fat man got on. He was dressed like a ringmaster with a tailcoat, a bow tie and top hat. He nodded to us, and then he nodded towards the glass pane. The man in the shower winced and suddenly had fear on his face. The young woman behind me cried out. The man in the tailcoat smiled and asked loudly towards the shower. „Do you have the figures? They should be on my desk by 9:00 am. You know exactly what will happen if you don’t cooperate!“ Embarrassed, I looked at the woman behind me. Then I noticed that she had beautiful brown eyes. And that I already knew her face from the cover of Forbes magazine. I felt love growing inside me as the lights went out and the elevator fell down from the sky.
(written May 22, 2021 for the Lisbon Writing Group)