Dream: Falling Elevator

I’m in an elevator by myself, descending from the 24th floor. Suddenly there’s a grinding noise and a lurch, then the elevator goes into free fall. I feel like I’m floating now, similar to being in a space ship, strangely calm. Should I sit? I decide the spring in my leg muscles will absorb the shock of the impact best when I land at the bottom, so remain standing, knees slightly bent. I can’t tell what floor I’m passing. The elevator seems to be taking many long minutes to drop, more than it would need to pass 24 floors. There’s a phone but I doubt if I have time for a call or conversation. I push the alarm saying “contact maintenance” which lights up a display, though I don’t know if anyone will see it soon enough to help me. I send up a small prayer, asking God to let my dear male partner know he’s loved in case I die.

Now the elevator cage seems to slow gradually (a built-in safety mechanism?), then topple over so it’s lying on its side. As it comes to a stop I manage to crawl out, making sure to retrieve my 2 books and notebook. I’m on the ground floor of the  hotel — I can see a lawn and trees outside beyond the hallway. People are hurrying by, with a few maintenance men bustling around doing damage control from the accident.


I walk over to an upset woman who apparently was in the next elevator. The same thing must have happened to her. Her husband looks overwhelmed trying to console her, wanting to help but not sure what to say. I tell her “I was in the adjacent elevator”. I’m hoping she’ll feel understood since I went through the experience too. I ask if I can give her a hug, simple human comfort, but she’s not quite ready to let go of the trauma yet. She says “I’ll feel better when I have more fat on my body” which puzzles me. She is short, not overweight and not skinny. Does she want more padding in case this happens again, to cushion a future fall?

I wake up mentally jolted by the idea of being in a falling elevator, with nothing I can do about it, but my body is calm, no elevated heartbeat or rapid breathing. I think of some serious falls I’ve had, down the stairs as an adult when I wasn’t paying attention, and once as a pre-teen off the slick algae-covered back wall of someone’s in-ground pool run-off to the woods far below, getting stunned and scratched and scraped. I was proud then that I kept this from  my mother, who didn’t notice my minor injuries or how disoriented I was. She probably would have yelled at me for being careless. Thinking of it, each subsequent fall has been less severe than the previous one, and I’ve recovered more quickly.

I like that I tried to comfort the other woman here, even though I wasn’t very successful. I also like that I seem to have put the incident behind me right away, at least in the dream, not complaining about it or seeing myself as a victim. I don’t think this is likely to happen in Reality — I’m pretty sure elevators now are constructed with fail-safe cables or electronics to prevent this kind of accident.

If this dream is a warning, I’m not sure what to do with it, so am mildly concerned. This wasn’t something I could have prevented, so I feel like I didn’t get the full message the dream wanted to convey. And yet, what could have been a serious injury or even killed me, ended up not harming me at all. I always like a happy ending!

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