Escalator out of order.

There are few things in life as disconcerting as the sensation of taking those first few steps on to a stationary escalator.
The ground drops away and rises up to meet you all at the same time, even though it is remaining completely still. Knowing in advance that the escalator is out of order isn’t even a consolation; you consciously fight the disorienting sensation as you attempt to alter your gait by stepping gingerly onto the first step like a drunk person attempting to navigate a slope in high heels. But, the optical illusion created by the ridged platforms of the steps descending in uneven progression deceives you, you argue internally with yourself knowing the step is stationary and yet your foot still lands too heavily, buckling your knee and throwing you ever so slightly out of stride.

This could be a metaphor for life, for the way certain challenging situations disorientate us even when we see them coming. How we adapt and adjust in preparation for the tumult of everyday life and yet still are affected by the swell as it rises underneath us. Or it could just be an indication of my poor sense of balance, my instability. Except it is not just me. There is a whole science to this sensation, it is called the ‘broken escalator phenomenon‘ or the ‘walker affect’ where basically the brain attempts to override conscious knowledge with past experience in determining the appropriate action when approaching a stationary escalator. You know it is not working, you tell yourself it is not working, and yet your brain overrides you and actions your step as if it IS moving. The internal struggle results in an external fail. So yes, basically, a metaphor for life.


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