The Senate had two types of elevators back in the day–staff, and Senator. We never went in theirs and they always popped up in ours. I’d like to think most encounters in the public elevators were pleasant, but I know better.
Before I get to the time I shared an elevator with Obama, there was the time I was sent to deliver a note to the Senate floor. Like Game of Thrones, you never broke the wax seal of death, aka, the licked envelope of my boss, and so off I went, eager to pass off this note to the slaves on the floor so I could go back to answering the calls of insane yet colorful people like Prior, calling to complain about the red dress my boss was wearing on a Friday. Honest to God, it was a thing.
It was a nice day, I remember because I wore no coat as I took off to the Capitol. It was nice and I hadn’t tried to kill anyone that day, all indications of a successful week.
The elevator opened on the bottom floor as planned and I lit up with the hope it’d take me to the desired floor w no family tour interruption. I was poised, ready, and anxious to get back.
The elevator door heavily slid open on the Senate floor, and before I could step outside, flashes of bulbs flashed and flashed and flashed and the amount of blinking I did was uncalled for but called for and I wanted to just hit close and go back down until a firm and guiding hand grabbed mine, pulled me out and whispered, “Hey kid, they’re out for me, not you. C’mon.” Bogart type shit.
I stopped blinking, looked up, and found my face in the attention of Joe Lieberman. He winked, pulled me out, and tossed me along to the floor, gave me a quick wave, and off he went. He had nice hair. White hair, but nice, and a smile to match.
I dropped the note on the Senate floor, ran outside to the driver pickup spot, lit a cigarette and told the drivers the story. I was ignited by meeting JL, and they laughed, knowing all too well the stories of leadership, and before I could realize what happened, Joe came out again, slipped into his car and went to leave.
I went to toss my cigarette quickly, so he didn’t see me smoking, but heard his joyful bellow,
“You again?,” he smiled. “Better get back before they find you.”
And with that, he pulled away.
Kennedy was more insulting, Obama so much more fun. Guess we’ll have to do this in batches.