Sage Advice 109: Not A Single Space Betwixt Us

Don’t put anything in that seat there. I’m sitting there. I know the rest of the theatre is scarcely occupied and it’s like eleven in the morning on a Thursday, but I don’t care, I’m sitting right there. Go ahead and act like it’s uncomfortable. You can even groan and wiggle, making every possible sign to indicate your desire for me to move down just one space short of simply asking me to move down just one space.

I need the warmth. Not literally. You’re not a radiator or anything, but it’s important to have someone to experience this with me in a close manner. That’s why we’re here. We’re absorbing this moment together because it’s better that way, and also you paid and I’m not passing on a perfectly free moment to absorb.

If I have a sudden quip about this experience that has to be projectile-word-vomited immediately, it’s best someone be there to hear it. And I’m not trying to get the entire room’s attention, so you need to be close enough for me to lean over only by inches and whisper, “Wasn’t that guy in that thing that we saw last year with that other guy?”

And even if you can’t understand me because I’m basically mumbling vague moments with which you have no reference, you better give a nod of approval. “Yes,” your skull and face and eyes and nose and the stuff that’s in/on/through/by that other stuff will all work together to say and give me the brief satisfying social cue I require for this experience to matter. “Yes. Even though I didn’t understand a single word you said, the answer is certainly yes.”

That stuff needs to be heard. If no one hears my drivel at the very second it leaves my head and becomes word-gush, then all those spontaneous thoughts and ideas go directly to the sound dumpster, which I assume is an invisible rectangular cube made out of vibrations in the air and all the words that no one hears go in there to be incinerated by invisible fires people have made but couldn’t share. No one wants my or your air vibrations getting set on fire. It’s just not productive.

So I’m sitting there, and don’t test me. If I feel like it, I’ll even raise those cup-holding arms on the side of the chair upward so that there’s no tiny piece of plastic indicating the necessary social boundaries I must take in order to make this outing of ours within the legal limits of awkwardness. After all, we’re in this together, and as such, it’s important that we stick together. Also, I put my feet up on the seats in front of me if they’re unoccupied, so prepare for that.

-Matthew Fugere

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