Here I sit, an awkward slice of bologna in the human sandwich of this Boeing 757. On my left, the middle aged business man with bushy eyebrows and a five o’clock shadow sleeps against the window, his hands folded in his lap. On my right is the Twitching Creature from Calcutta.
He must be asleep, I tell myself, because his eyes are closed. But he keeps lunging his shoulders into the aisle, contorting his head and shoulders before drooping limply forward. Then he starts jerking and bouncing his knees violently, shaking the whole row. I wonder what he’ll do when we take off . . .
The Twitching Calcuttan is slowly encroaching on my space, that sacred area between the armrests on the seat and the luggage-rack bars under the row in front of us. Elbow-wise and bouncing-knee-wise, he is taking over, and while my normal policy of elbow-room sharing dictates accomodation, I find myself tempted to administer a swift jab to the offending arm and then resist any attempts by this dozing moron to take any further space whatsoever. I want to “accidentally” poke him with my pen. Goodness! Am I losing all compassion?
[Editorial note: He revived when the beverage service came around, and remained moodily awake for the rest of the flight.]