i had a huge scare yesterday evening on my way out of the office. with neither drama nor warning, while i was contemplating the best way to get to the mall of asia, the lights inside my lift going down from the 30th floor went out. i honestly thought i had just died, since i was alone inside the metal cube with nothing but pitch blackness surrounding me, and i had oddly not uttered a word -- not even of surprise. there was a droning hum which i equated with nothingness. i moved my hands and frisked my body: i'm still corporeal, so it must be something else. i then thought of other possibilities: earthquake? i held on to the rails, there was no movement at all. fire? will smoke get inside the elevator? an act of terrorism? is being caught inside an elevator the best thing that could happen? i dug into my pocket and fished out my cellphone to maybe call for help. blind spot. i could try to pry open the elevator doors but the elevator doesn't open anywhere between the 2nd and 17th floors. then it dawned on me that all these modern elevators are equipped with emergency intercoms. so i illuminated the control panel and pressed on the emergency bell. no response. it must be an outage, but emergency power should have kicked in by now. more than 30 seconds had gone by. very long and excruciating 30 seconds. my legs were turning into jello. i still could not speak, probably from the trauma. then the lights went back on. i was somewhere on the 14th. it took a few more seconds before the elevator moved, and by the time i reached the ground floor and the doors opened, a voice came through the intercom. i just wanted to jump out of the elevator! and when i did, the guard looked at me quizzically. not all the lights in the lobby had returned. i asked what happened, and he said, power interruption. "akala ko kung ano na," i replied, gave out a loud whew, and walked out, my legs still shaking. me and my sordid imagination.