We enter an old wooden box made of mahogany, which carries us up several stories. In the garage, a nice man takes our suitcases and groceries out of our car and brings them up in the back elevator. We adhere to the rules of entry that announce our return from the country and govern the formal territory that we call home.
The back elevator is for dogs, and when you’re in a hurry. It smells, but people in it are more friendly. The front elevator induces an up-tight decorum. Conversation, if it occurs, tends to be brief and stilted. Once, though, I caught a little girl doing a handstand in it, her father looking on, with a sly smile on his face, doing nothing to stop her. Kids are kids after all, and we wouldn’t want her personality to be as square as the old elevator that we have to use.