The elevator technician arrived after an hour, maybe longer and a few of the men who were guests of the party helped hand crank the elevator to a midway point where there was just enough room to pull me up half a flight out the top of the elevator door. The man with me climbed out behind me.
My friend Vanessa’s husband, who had stayed outside the whole time waiting for help, was there immediately with a cup of ice water. My friend Antonia had also stayed outside and held my hand through the glass. There was nothing else they could do.
I still don't know or understand why I panicked, so I researched it on the internet.
Claustrophobia. I think now, it comes from the time I was locked in a small garage shed when I was 6 years old? I was terrified back then-I remember now. I don’t think I ever would have thought of that event, ever again, until last night. But if that one experience from years ago when I was a child is where all my fear came from last night, then fear is tricky little SOB that can stay dormant for many years.
Now just the thought of getting into a small Paris elevator, makes my heart start to beat fast and my hands start to sweat. I don’t intend to let this phobia get the best of me, so next week I will go back to the soiree and escort guests in the elevator once more. But until then, I think I will take a break from getting inside any more small boxes the French call ascenseurs.