Sunday, April 17, 2016

I am the Anti-Whisperer

I step into the elevator of our apartment building. A couple is already in there, sporting a certain style of sneaker, cross-body bag, fleece outerwear and frosted hair stripes. I immediately know I am dealing with people who routinely drive a little further for a decent lobby waffle. They type in all caps about libs and Bachman Turner Overdrive. They clearly don’t live in my building. 

It’s just the three of us in the elevator. I press the button for my floor, and the husband and wife from Topeka or whoever the hell stand across from me in the corner. The doors slide closed. It’s very quiet.

The husband puts his hairy hand up to his wife’s ear and starts whispering. One of those loud cartoon whispers. He whispers and whispers the entire way to my floor.

The doors open, I exit.

“WELL GOOD BYE,” the husband bursts out all snarky-like to the back of my head. 

It’s in that moment that I understand why all the Air BnB squawking at resident meetings in our building. Who wants to come home to some kind of of asshole tourist's scheme for world domination.

I was telling Audrey about the Elevator Whisperer on the F Train late last night. Some kind of costumed fandango was transpiring between two subway poles in front of us. A gloriously white spandexed slutty angel powdered his cheeks and the cheeks of others he presumably was acquainted with. There was lots of noise and rosy complexions.

Nonetheless, I heard Audrey say not whispering in public is common courtesy and etiquette, outside of the junior high cafeteria. Which made me think about the time earlier this year when I was riding in a van and someone started a whispered conversation in the backseat. And another time last year when I was at a party and there was whispering going on at one end of the table.

Each of these Whispering Incidents felt awkward and divisive. It’s good to know for sure others agree, officially. In New York City as well as the fly-over states. I’m confident in this proclamation because Audrey grew up in Wisconsin.
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