Gravity

Two consecutive mornings this week I have sat next to men who have had an extra strong gravity pull directly beneath their seat.

Yesterday I saw a delightfully empty window seat and made my way to it, past a small gentleman already sitting on the outside seat.  The gentleman was dressed averagely smartly in a dark blue, nondescript suit.  He must have thought he was too small to need to bother to move his knees out of my way and sat resolutely immobile.  Despite his small frame he somehow was sitting over the edge of the seat onto what was to become my seat.  As I squeezed in I sat down but found it difficult to relax my arms into their normal position because he was overlapping into my space, so ended up in a slightly concave position.

This man made me feel like a clumsy giant, but even a clumsy giant deserves to be able to sit comfortably.  Seems to me that his choice was to sit next to the window where the person next to him would have to allow him space, or to sit on the outer sit as he had done.  But that comes with the responsibility of allowing enough space for the person who sits next to them.  This rude person did neither.  He chose the outer seat but then proceeded to sit rigid so that he was leaning quite heavily against my arm.  If I had space I would have moved.  I did not have space so could not.

He gave no quarter and showed no interest or willingness to move a centimetre or two to allow us both to travel without touching arms.  Well, I say touching, but it felt like he was pushing me.  The gravity pull under his seat was clearly too strong for him to fight and he was obliged to sit rigidly and immovably for the ensuing 20 minute journey.

The following morning I sat elsewhere – not that I saw the little man again but because I saw a lovely seat at the far end of the carriage, right in the corner, against the window.  One of my favourite seats, so I headed straight for it.

On the outside seat was a large man.  This gentleman was also wearing a suit but this one was a mediocre nondescript grey suit.  He was in his late 50s and had an air of self-importance as he sat there with his tablet on his lap, huge headphones, a huge moustache, and a phone in one hand.  He was also sitting half across the empty seat.

As I moved into the space near him I said “excuse me”.  He totally ignored this so I said “can I get into the corner”.  Again, blankness.  Oblivious.  In the end I had to wave my hand under his face.  It did make him move but bizarrely he didn’t look up or acknowledge my existence or the fact that someone was waving their hand in front of his face.  He just kept staring at his tablet and shuffled outwards.  He did not however shuffle far and left about 3 inches of his leg over onto my seat.

Sitting down purposefully heavily I did manage to force him out another inch or two, but like the little man of the previous day he had extra strong gravity under his seat and he sat immovable, leaning into me.  It was so strange – why do some people lean heavily against a complete stranger?  When I sit down on the outside seat I will do my level best to not touch the person on the inside seat.  Unless it is to make a point if they have for example spread their legs too far :D. But normally I will do my best to give us both personal space.

I can only assume people that push against strangers in this way are perverts or desperate for physical human contact, no matter how unrequited the desire is (or perhaps that is the attraction).  Well, it’s either that or gravity having such a strong hold under their seat they are overpowered and have no option but to sit rigidly pushing against a complete stranger.

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