- -Welcome to my world! It's a small one, I admit, but I have found a niche here, and life will find a way. I certainly found mine, evolving within this elevator car.

Does that strike you as strange?- -Well, in a sense you are all my parents. You seeded me here, bringing my DNA in on the soles of your shoes as sputum, urine, hair, and the occasional fecal smear. Sometimes condoms are discarded in my home, giving me a spattering of semen. Humans also almost continuously shed dead skin cells, which from my perspective fall as manna from heaven. My growth medium has been the crumbs that fall from your lips and food fragments that you carelessly discard. I've got a virtual banquet here, the renewal of which only requires my next human visitor. I am of you yet apart from you, a recombinant, a mutation.

Do you think that the things which made and keep me alive could easily be cleaned out?- - Just how clean do you think an elevator is?- - Would you eat off my floors?- -No, I thought not! The human custodians who swab my floors with bleach and other disinfectants do so quickly and carelessly, seldom reaching into the edges, corners, and cracks that define my world. With budget cuts, they don't even clean as often as they once did. So I have grown, and evolved. I hunger for more now than the limited confines of this elevator...it's time to move on.

I've waited for one of your kind to come alone now, and here you obligingly are! There is a slight rumble and shudder as my car brakes to a halt, and my metallic door slides open as it has done countless times before. You step inside, and the door slides shut, sealing you in the loving embrace of my artificial world. You punch one of my buttons for the floor your wish to ascend to, adding the oils of your fingertip to that of the many already present there; sauce for the goose. Then you stand back and simply wait, staring straight ahead.

I surround you with aluminum, formica, and vinyl with a simulated wood grain. I bathe you in my cold artificial light. To lull you into a false sense of security, bland music drifts from my speakers; you are hearing an orchestral arrangement of a Barry Manilow hit, lucky soul!

The gaseous being that I am slowly filters in through the ventilation system, so quietly that you are not aware of my entrance save for a slight burning when my essence contacts your eyes and your nostrils...mucous membranes offer such a convenient portal for entrance of foreign organisms into the human body! Without thinking you in response to the contact rub your eyes and nose, an action which conveniently drives me further into your body. Soon I have accessed your bloodstream through the thin capillaries present in these facial organs, and am racing through your body via the blood which nourishes every cell.

Your last independent thought is that perhaps you are coming down with a cold, a condition which would be far more benign for you. Swiftly your bloodstream carries me to your brain, where my infection takes hold and begins to spread. Cell by cell, I take you over, arresting the motion of the elevator car to allow this transformation. For a few moments you gasp for breath, falling to your knees while your heart races and sweat oozes from your pores; birth is not a painless process. Within minutes it is over, however, and I begin to see the world through your eyes.

I think I shall like having you for a host; I have acquired all of your capabilities and memories, and shall use them to full advantage. Resuming motion, I allow the elevator car to creak to the next floor, opening the door upon the new world which you have made possible for me. It's time to cut the umbilical cord now, to leave the elevator and accept what is mine...the world!

With each ending comes a new beginning, however, and the strange new desire in my loins will lead me to inseminate a female tonight, and then I shall possess her as well. The process will be continued exponentially until we flow in the veins of all human life, and the world will be made as one...

Life, you see, can be a gas!