I don’t know why I pushed it. I thought it was a joke.
It was a strange invitation. Come to where the world falls at your feet. It was mixed in with the rest of my mail—all junk mail, by the way. Who am I to pass up a free massage at a 4-star parlor? I’ve never even had a massage.
I should have known something was strange when the doorman opened the door for me, tipped his hat, and left the building. When I turned to look at him, he was running down the street at full speed.
I swear, I thought it was a joke. There was no one else in the building. The hallway was perfectly quiet. All I could hear was the electric stutter of the florescent lighting and the echo of my feet hitting the linoleum.
The invitation clearly stated PENTHOUSE. And the elevator only had the two buttons: PENTHOUSE and EARTHQUAKE.
Something inside me sort of did a headstand. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. No wonder that doorman took off so quickly. He could see it in me.
I wonder how many people just hit PENTHOUSE. And then what? Got a free massage? I should have hit PENTHOUSE. I could have had a free massage.
But no. I had to press the other button.
Now, everything’s gone. Or almost gone. And they’re all looking for the one who pushed the button.
I wonder why. It seems I took some kind of test.
I wonder if I failed.