What it’s like getting trapped in the Callaway elevator

We were stuck for over an hour

It was a Friday night: a night for love, romance, and the immediate sense of energy and excitement. Specifically, a Friday night on West Campus is one of potential. Where are we? Where will we end up? Only time and fate will tell.

This specific Friday night, fate had something special in store for our group of five freshman students with an un-jaded perspective on the world.

Where else to start but Callaway? The great, towering temple with awe-worthy tones of glamour and gloss. We rode up the ostensibly reliable elevator and pick-up a friend for a night of safety and fun. What could go wrong?

Let me tell you what could go wrong. The tragic case of a downward elevator in motion.

One look at this tower of terror and we glanced around nervously. How in the world did those footprints get there? But it was too late. We were off on the ride of our lives, and there was no going back. We were stuck in the Callaway elevator.

What the elevator looked like

First, there was shock. Did this just happen? Are we stuck? I shouted out several times in an attempt to assure myself: “HELP IS ON THE WAY.” No one else seemed to care though. Maybe the reality hit me first, or maybe my faith in American infrastructure was lacking.

Next, there was panic. Who do we call? How do we call? We pressed the big red button which is a flawless protocol for “something has gone wrong.” What the static-y, mumbling voice was trying to tell us, we don’t know to this day. But we got off our feet and sat on the ground. We were going to be here for a while.

As our hearts began to settle, we decided to enjoy our perfect positioning to bond with each other. We sang songs of new and old, of heartbreak and togetherness, and appropriately, of freedom and captivity. These noises, in response to our situation, were our method of coping. Music had never sounded so sweet.

The symphony could only last so long before my mind began to ache. My friends, my dear and sweet friends, who were so bravely fighting against the natural tendency to give up hope, quickly became my worst enemies.

There was no solution but to slip in my earbuds (which, thank the heavens, were sitting in my pocket in a way that a dog might sit by your door) and listen to the earnest and angry sounds of Kanye West’s Yeezus. And oh, let me tell you, it was crazy. Each verse was a battalion of soldiers marching onward against the plight of adversity, and my disposition soon recovered.

Finally help was on the way.

We kicked, we yelled, we laughed. Like jungle animals we marked our territory and “ooh’ed” and “ah’d” to gain the attention of passersby. At one point, we heard the tinkering of tools right above us.

I was hopeful, and then time let me down.

“Did someone just poke us leave?”

It sure did seem so.

We returned to our idle senselessness. I kept checking for service because I just KNEW that any cell service would turn a disaster into the Periscope broadcast of our generation.

About an hour in, our salvation had arrived.

A voice above us said: “If you don’t get out in five seconds, I’m going to call the cops.”

Wait, what? This manifestation of hope seemed to be a grumpy one.

We pleaded in booming voices to testify our innocence.

“Oh, you’re stuck.”

This taught us a valuable lesson. Some heroes wear capes, some carry their pride, and some just want to hop on a damn elevator without waiting an hour.

Us too, mysterious passerby, us too.

A maintenance man soon arrived in quite the anti-climactic manner, and we were saved. Fortunately, addressing our concerns of trying to preserve the nature of adventure, the elevator door was lifted just enough for us to climb out.

Finally escaping

In truth, it was a test of emotions. Our hearts and minds were solidified and we would no longer test the spontaneity of fate.

College advisors will tell you to register fast, to study hard, and to study abroad.

UT Austin