Middle Seat


Performing and doing a round of class talks at UNC Wilmington this week was a great experience. And it was wonderful to reconnect with Dr. Go Bulldogs. We solidified our new friendship with this trip, and we also ran track in high school way back in the day!

This show was the first one for me in the in United States in two years. When I came to the States in January of 2011, and left my home, our cats and my husband back in Mexico, I fell into a low-grade and lengthy depression. The blogging and performing and talking with groups came to a dead stop, with the exception of one performance that I did in Oakland.

The thing is, I really love blogging. I truly love performing. And I particularly love being in dialogue with people in situations like class talks and workshops. I’m saying this out loud, because I feel that it’s important for all of us to name what we love, what we were put on this earth to do.

Some of you may think that it would be extremely depressing to do a show where I talk about my husband’s deportation and the fact that he’s presently banned for life from entering the United States. I could see in some of the faces of the students in the class talks that their hearts just broke when I talked about the options for our future.

But you know what? My head is powerfully clear from any mental noise when I’m performing. It’s a form of meditation for me. The days that I’m scheduled to blog, I wake up rubbing my hands with excitement before I even hit the keyboard. And when I do class talks and lead workshops, I’m at my most hopeful. Because we’re all talking with each other, and listening, even if we don’t agree.

I had a layover in Charlotte, NC before my flight to San Francisco. A young couple sat by me. They caught my eye, because the guy was extremely tall, way over six feet. And the woman was probably the same height as my friend A Tall Drink of Water.

They had blonde hair and blue eyes and white skin and were in no way aware of the gift that lay between them-the fact that they could travel together in the US.

When we boarded the plane, it ended up that their seats were separate, one row behind the other. And the extremely tall young man was going to have to sit in the middle seat of one of the rows.

I had the aisle seat of the first row. The woman was sad about not sitting next to him. I jumped in and offered to switch. They looked about me incredulously. The guy said, “But, my seat is a middle seat. ” I said, “I know, it’s cool. Let’s do this.” And the flight was absolutely fine.

I know that I wouldn’t have given my seat to couple like that in the past. I would’ve been too jealous, too angry about the fact that they didn’t recognize the privilege that they had of traveling together in the US. I would’ve put off a ferociously aggressive energy and cut my eyes at them. I would’ve have thought in my head, “Get a taste of what life is like for me and many other US citizens.”

And I would’ve felt extremely justified. I’m glad that I’m no longer in that space.

At one point during the flight, the couple fell asleep, their heads resting gently on each other. I closed my eyes and wished them lots of love and happiness.

And I imagined that my husband was sitting in the middle seat in the row behind me.


3 thoughts on “Middle Seat

  1. Darn! You just made me cry too. What a poignant piece. I am so happy for you that you are in a place of peace. I know that feeling of bitterness and anger well.


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