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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Coach Seat Encroachment, Or: Why I'll Never Fly Again

There I was minding my own business
Sitting in coach seat 16B
It was an aisle seat and I was on the phone
Chatting it up with my wife
That's when I saw him
Taking up the whole aisle with his fat ass
Jesus I hope he doesn't sit next to me

I made my way down the aisle
Walking sideways so I'd fit without bumping anyone
One of the drawbacks of being overweight
Another being nervous about the seating
Hoping I'd have an empty seat next to me
I looked at my ticket
It told me to go to coach seat 16A

The fat bastard got closer as I was talking
And sure as shit
He was going to try to sit next to me
Fuck my life
I expressed some frustration to my wife
"Oh my god, you aren't going to believe this shit"
She asked me what it was
I said, "I'll tell you later"
No need to call the fattie out
I unbuckled and got up
Backing up a few steps in the aisle so he'd have enough room

There was a guy in the aisle seat already
He was talking on the phone
My heart sunk and my stomach felt fluttery
I got his attention and motioned to the seat next to him
He looked right at me and told whoever was on the phone
"Oh my god, you aren't going to believe this shit"
Then started unbuckling himself to stand up
My face turned red
I tried to hide it by busying myself for a moment stowing my carry on
Just as I turned back to the seat
He quietly said "I'll tell you later"
And glared at me as I crammed myself into the window seat
I felt like all kinds of shit as I strained to get the belt buckled

Holy fuck
This fatso can't even hardly get the belt buckled!
My fucking god look at how his stomach is over the armrest
I'm going to have to be touching him the whole flight
The stewardess asked everyone to get seated
So I sat down
Trying not to cringe as my side rubbed against my horrid seatmate
Jeez he stinks too
They should really make these people buy two seats
Or not let them fly at all
As the airplane taxiied out to the runway
I reflected that I could have complained
But it's just a short hop to Phoenix

The man slipped back into his seat when the plane was ready to go
He refused to look at me
For my part I tried to press myself into the wall of the plane
Holding myself there uncomfortably to try not to crowd him
But I couldn't stop it
The armrest dug into my side
Feeling like I was being squeezed in a hydraulic press
It's only for 45 minutes
I kept telling myself
I can tough it out

As soon as we were airborne and the seatbelt light was out
I got up and hung out in the aisle
Just a few rows back from my seat
I'd rather fly standing up like this than in my seat next to him
The stewardess came by and asked if everything was ok
I nodded towards the back of the guy's head
His short hair and fat rolls on his neck calling him out
"I just can't stand sitting there next to him is all
Is it ok if I stand here while the air is smooth?"
The stewardess said it was alright
And that she was sorry there were no other open seats for me
"That's ok
I just don't see why they don't make people like him buy a second seat
I mean, it's like he's laying on top of me when I'm sitting there
Gives me the heebejeebes"
I lowered my voice and leaned towards her
If I looked like that
I'd shoot myself"

The guy got up as soon as he could after takeoff
Standing somewhere behind me in the aisleway
My face turned red when I realized he was just trying to get away from me
I stared out the window trying to ignore the rest of the world
He started talking to someone
Telling them I should have bought another seat
And that sitting next to me creeped him out
I wanted to yell at him
Tell him I was only travelling because of work
And I had asked for a second seat and was refused
Not having the money to do it myself
This is what I was stuck with
I could almost feel the rest of the planeload of people
Listening to what he was saying
All eyes either on him or me
His voice dropped down so I could barely hear it
He said something about shooting himself
I immediately figured he meant me
Tears sprang into my eyes
If I had a gun at that moment
I actually would have killed myself
Just to spare the world my existence

As Phoenix approached
I had to sit down again
Lard-ass was either asleep
Or pretending to be
Which was fine with me
I swear to god
I'm going to specify not having to sit next to people like him
Each and every time I board a flight from now on
I feel fucking dirty just from our limited contact
I'd rather not ever fly again

I could feel our plane start slowly descending
The fasten seatbelt sign came back on
Mr aisle seat had to sit back down
I closed my eyes
Just to block him out
So I didn't have to see his angry disgusted looks
He crossed his arms
Sharply jabbing me in the ribcage
I ignored it
I was in his space after all
I deserved it
My side where the armrest was digging in
Had gone numb ten minutes ago
So at least there was that
I swear to god
This is the last time I ever fly anywhere
I'll drive a fucking rental car
Or I just won't go
I never want to feel like this again