Siphiwe Online
Posted on 07/02/2017 by S'phiwe on Pointless

Why front row seats should be free.

I sat on the front row at the movies, the other day, and the screen wouldn’t fit in the frame of my specs because I was too close.

If that doesn’t make sense to you because you’ve never worn specs before: imagine that you’re standing behind a closed door and want to peep in at people who are on the other side of that door. Of course, you can only see them if they distance themselves enough from the door, that their full-sized bodies can come into full view to you as you watch through the keyhole. Now, imagine that the door handle is fixed to your head and unless you stand at the correct distance, all you can do is visually tour the people’s visible body parts and then try to piece together a mental picture of their full-sized bodies. Of course, you won’t be able to follow the action because you might be looking at someone’s knee when they’re slapping someone else in the face, etc.

That’s how sitting in front at the movies is like to someone who has to see the world through the “keyhole” that is the framed artificial lens: your face has to follow the on-screen characters around so as to keep them “in the frame.” So you could say I didn’t quite see the whole movie because scenes typically don’t wait long enough for someone to do the necessary work of scanning the screen.  It’s not a crisis for me, though, because most of the time, I generally fall asleep at the movies anyway. The experience got me thinking about something else…

My best friend and I met on stage, literally. I was on piano and he: on guitar. He was a new band member that everyone in the band happened to know but he and I didn’t know each other; but when we left, we’d become closer to each other than we were to the others. We spoke all kinds of deep philosophical nonsense during breaks and we both appreciated receiving each other’s undivided attention as we spoke.

We played together for a year or two after that day and then other commitments started taking priority so we both drifted away from playing in that band. He was playing in different circles and I had become too busy with other things to even play at all. We started having to make conscious efforts to meet and our meetings became less frequent but still somewhat consistent. Since then, this is how we’ve maintained our friendship: we creatively make time between/around other necessary activities. Sometimes, when I have the flexibility, I pick him up in the morning and drive him to work, then find a desk where I can work on my laptop, either at his office or in some restaurant in the area, then I later pick him up and we drive back or stop by some hangout to catch up. All of this, although he has a car of his own.

Last week, I invited him to a show where another one of my friends was performing. We intentionally arrived about an hour before start time so we could catch up. I got to introduce the two friends to each other, pointing out that they have more in common than just being my best friends. They’re both mean, talented musicians and they’re famous. They were unimpressed with the fact that I was implying that they’re not my only best friend but they lived past that. The performing friend pleaded with my other friend not to be overly critical of the performance and he said he couldn’t promise that he wouldn’t. The show started and my friend was tripping. He loved everything about the performing friend and during the break, he got to declare his new-found groupieship, making the performing friend blush and stuff before having to run off and prepare for the next performance.

Hold on, how does this relate to sitting in the front row at the movies? Well, like this

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