“Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor,” in The Stories of John Cheever

Cheever, John

Knopf, 1978

p. 134

“His face was blazing. He loved the world and the world loved him. When he thought back over his life, it appeared to him in a rich and wonderful light, full of astonishing experiences and unusual friends. He thought that his job as an elevator operator cruising up and down through hundreds of feet of perilous space demanded the nerve and intellect of a birdman . . . No one was ringing, but he got into the elevator and shot it at full speed up to the penthouse and down again, up and down, to test his wonderful mastery of space.”