The Fear of Elevators

Right now I am afraid. I see the news and read the papers and feel afraid. In every child covered in dust from another bomb blast or washed up on shore from a capsized boat or hungry or thirsty or orphaned, I see my nieces. In every mother who can’t save her child, or feed him or shelter him or protect him, I see my sisters. In every dog left behind or forgotten in the rush to escape, I see my own. And I feel so powerless to stop the suffering—so powerless to prevent their suffering from becoming mine, ours. I do not think it is my own suffering or pain I fear as much as the suffering and pain of those I love. I fear not being able to provide for those who rely on me, and instead, having to watch them suffer. And for so many, this fear is the reality. What’s stopping it from becoming my reality? My security feels so tenuous in a world of intolerance, inequality.

I commonly dream I am trapped in an elevator stuck between two floors. The door is open. The gap at the top is too narrow to slip through—and out of reach, anyway. The gap at the bottom is accessible and accommodating, but the fall is too far. And somehow I am aware that any second, the cables suspending me are going to snap. So far, I always wake up before they do.


Chester, VA

Amanda Creasey lives with her husband and their two dogs. She teaches high school English and works as freelance writer. Find her online at

Amanda Sue CreaseyComment