This morning in the elevator, a small Japanese woman in her mid-40s—likely a legal resident, or even naturalized citizen, but definitely an immigrant—sternly, but with an incipient sense of desperation, said “basement” as we were ascending. I looked at her and apathetically shook my head to confirm what I considered obvious and should’ve been felt, literally, on a “gut level”: that we were going up. I assumed she would work out the logic in her head, that, if her destination was indeed the basement, then every subsequent floor of ascension was taking her away from her goal, and that she should immediately exit at the next floor to retroactively make her way down. But yet, from 5, 7, and 9 we went up, until she said, again, “basement,” this time with a pronounced question mark and child-like wonder, looking extremely confused, which likewise confused me. This was not a cultural issue. There are elevators in Japan. Numeric signifiers of floors in buildings are universal. Up, as a vector, is absolute (relative to the earth, of course). I looked at her, my gaze piqued, yet somewhat askew, as if trying to look around her eyeballs and into her thick head. I said, my growing sarcasm veiled as austere patience, “yeah, we are going up…you might want to get off now and start making your way down.” She obediently nodded, with a faint sheen of just having her mind blown on the very eyeballs around which I had incredulously tried to have a gander. When she abruptly got off a random floor, her small body triggered the door open, and my fellow passengers dramatically sighed with the very exasperation they were undoubtedly holding in this entire time. Let us not ask ourselves why she wanted to go to the basement. Was this the work of the devil? Was he lonely, and did he simply want a visitor? I should not judge. We are each condemned to eventually find the hell we believe in, no matter what lofty level. I got off my floor, perfectly, and went to work.