To the man that stood right next to me on the escalator

by Jeff Hilimire on August 23, 2011

Hi there, fella. I was extremely humbled that you decided we were close enough in our relationship for you to stand right next to me on the escalator at the airport. It’s true, I only just met you as we happened to get to the entrance to the escalator at the same time, with me slightly ahead of you. But still, I can see how you thought that we were close enough in our friendship to take the leap and jump up there with me.

I was particularly surprised considering there were barely any other people on the escalator at the time, but that’s just the kinda friend you are. I can imagine if we went to the Waffle House together you might sit right next to me in the booth. “Booyah, that’s friendship right there,” I can imagine you saying.

I expected after we shared that 90 second ride to the top, you might want to chat or grab a coffee or something at the top, but no, you powered on to your flight as if we were perfect strangers. I like your style.

The people that passed us going down the escalator gave us a few odd looks, didn’t they, big guy? Almost as if we were a couple of dudes standing awkwardly next to each other for no reason whatsoever when there was plenty of room to ride on separate steps. Those simpletons.

And you smelled good, too. I normally don’t get to smell other people on the escalator because, well, usually they are on their own steps and not mine. I’m guessing the night before you helped yourself to a few extra helpings of garlic sauce and then grabbed a coffee here at the airport this morning. Living life to the fullest. That’s so you.

Hopefully I will meet you again one day. I won’t recognize you, unfortunately. Even though we were right next to each other for an impossible minute and a half, I didn’t turn and face you for fear that we might accidentally turn at the same time and our lips would touch. That would have made this experience awkward. Plus you were clearly behind me when we got on the escalator, I mean there’s no debating that even though you aggressively and swiftly jumped up onto my…sorry, “our” step right at the same time I did, so I never got the chance to see your face.

But if I get on an elevator one day by myself and someone comes to the very back with me and stands right next to me, I’ll know its you. Then we can finally meet, and I can ask you….what the hell is wrong with you, you psycho?

  • David Burke

    this might be your bet work yet. 

  • Cmaas

    being from Chicago, I would have checked for my wallet and other valuables after I got off the escalator.  Personal space people…..personal space

  • Ricardo Diaz

    Thank you sir, for brightening my day :)

  • Pjcamden

    LMAO…  out loud, on a con call.  That’s what I get for multi tasking..thanks for the morning giggle

  • Laurie

    Highly entertaining article!  I have known people that have no concept of space and it is possible this guy was one of them.  The other although it might be far fetched. It is possible he might have been hitting on you, however subtle it was.

  • Fake Jeff Hilimire

    In all honesty, I know I’m hot. And I smell damn good too. He must have wanted to know what it felt like to stand that close to a true BADASS.

  • TherealEhammond

    One of the funnest things i’ve read in a long while. Kind of reminds me of when me and some of the other spunnies would press all of the buttons on the elevator on the 1st floor then ride up to the 17th occasionally sticking our heads out the door when it would open and say “nope that’s not it”. #funbunch

  • Helenkkopp


  • bondtastic

    I may have met this person in the elevator. My guy took the liberty of letting a fart go silently as well. Is this what we”ve come to? As long as its silent it doesnt matter? What is wrong with people?

  • Jeff Hilimire

    LOL, ah the silent but deadly folks. At least it wasn’t a combo of that guy and my next-to-escalator guy ;)

  • Sarah Teachworth Boehs

    Ha, ha! My husband was once walking somewhere with 2 co-workers and witnessed one of them absentmindedly enter a revolving door DIRECTLY behind the other–as in they were both inside the same cell of the revolving door for the few seconds it took to get to the other side. He was mortified because it was completely inadvertent and a clear violation of personal space. The mental image cracks me up to this day.

  • Edward Hill

    Thanks for writing the funniest commentary on awkward social encounters. Somehow public spaces like airports are blessed with these kinds of folks.

    Reminds me of my 7am driving experience on I285 highway. I found myself with no cars ahead of me or behind me for a mile. For that moment I was safe.

    Until Mr. Red Camaro decided to leave the onramp at a high rate of speed. Some how he had to catch up to me, the only car for two miles, and merge his car into the exact space that I was then occupying in the fast lane.

    Realizing that Mr. Red Camaro was a special kind of crazy. I slowed up to allow the mentally challenged driver to enter the fast lane and head off to whatever part of hell was his destiny.

  • MobileMary Barnett


  • Jeff Hilimire

    Ha, thanks for reminding me of this, Mary! I laugh out loud when I get a chance to re-read it. It’s funny because its true!

  • Adam Albrecht

    You know this is my favorite thing you’ve ever written. So I came back for a re-read. And I’m snickering, thinking about you two kissing on your step.

  • Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks double A. This is easily one of my favorites posts as well. Funny cause it actually happened!

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