am I too early
is this the right time
is this where I’m supposed to be
did I wake you
I’m usually early
is this seat taken
I’m not the first to arrive
I’ll walk slower
I’ll get off one stop sooner
walk around the block to kill time
I don’t really want to be here
I’m not as eager as it seems
transit was faster than expected
there were no delays for a change
someone has to arrive first
maybe I shouldn’t be the first one they see
I won’t come back later
I’ll be one of the first to leave
I’ll only stick around awhile
only the late have a place in this room
the ones who struggled to get here
who had trials & tribulations
they arrive breathless agitated apologetic
eager to be there
all I sacrificed was time
I am usually early when I go to things like poetry readings, plays, coffee dates – I like having a few minutes to orient myself – to find a decent spot to sit so I have my preferred view of the stage. At spoken word shows I prefer to face the stage directly when positive. The worst thing about one spot was the narrow room which meant no one could face the stage with twisting their necks constantly. I was pleased when they closed.
With the spokenword shows I frequented or became involved with being early also gave me chance to help, if needed. Hosts were always glad for someone just to see someone there. The wait for the first arrivals can be nerve wracking.
When seeing shows with reserved seating: i.e Stratford or Shaw, we’d get seated asap to void clambering over people in those tightropes – often not even wide enough to sit without your knees rubbing on the seat ion front of you. Architects who do that seating layout often forget people have legs -thanks for the great sight lines but curses for crushing my kneecaps so badly I can’t walk for the rest of the day.
At least with reserved seating one does get asked to vacate their seat for someone arrived just in time for the show to start & feel they deserve your ideal spot more than them. I’ve done door for shows & come back to find my coat & bag removed from my seat but people who presume they have the right to turf me without asking.
If you’re late, you’re late – it’s not my fault you have to struggle in. I’m not going to move down one for your convenience. I’m not that nice a guy.