The stairs don’t change. They remain the same in number and the same height. Day in, day out. There is a lady who comes to clean them once a week. And once a week, they shine anew, ready for a another week’s worth of life as pairs of feet stomp, run, dash, and struggle up them. These stairs are constant, changing not a bit no matter how many times they are climbed.
Yet they demand more or less depending on when and why we’re going up and down, round and round.
When the clock edges for 7.40 and being late is only a few minutes away, they are uneven and seem so many more in number. How many times have I been round? Surely I must be at the bottom.
When it’s 7.30 in the evening and fun awaits, they carry me excitedly into the world with a hop, skip, and a jump. Each step a step forward, each step a joy.
Then, on a weary Wednesday, bags full of shopping and the week sitting heavily on my shoulders, they are a mountain to climb, a rock face to ascend.
Come Friday, when the week is done, the sound of his feet, stomping up, brings a smile to my face. It tells me the weekend is about to start, with laughter and snacks, maybe a beer or two.
And after a long journey home, they are what stands between my weary body and my own bed. They are an unwelcome climb to a welcoming home, as I lug my bag and collapse through the door.
The stairs do not change. They are constant, winding harmoniously up the building. However, my steps up and down them are as inconstant as the weather, dictated by my moods and mindset, by why I am leaving, what I’m leaving behind and to what I am heading.