Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crowded

Tonight I had the fun opportunity to take Gabe and Seth to a cello recital up at our local college. We figured it was an appropriate Sabbath Day activity and the boys got extra credit for attending. We got there a few minutes early and in no time it was crowded.

The smallish recital hall was quite full and I think there was a college music appreciation-type class that must have gotten extra credit for attending too. I sat down with my boys in the last 3 seats together. As I sat there for a minute I started to have a little bit of a moment...and I started feeling a little anxiety. The hall quickly filled past capacity and people were sitting in the aisles so we were stuck in our seats with nowhere to move. The temperature started to rise. The chairs felt very close together.

I am not sure what this all stems from. It could be the fact that I live in a remote, rural setting and I don't often have strangers in my personal space. OK, I never have strangers in my personal space. Heck, I rarely have people I have know for years in my personal space. Anyhoo. It could be the fact that I am just getting old and set in my ways and have become naturally less tolerant of pretty much anything and everything. It could be my bad genetics-thanks to my Dad who does NOT love being in crowds.

Whatever the reason, I started to feel a little squeezed and somewhat imposed upon by the kid directly to my left. He was obviously a college student there for an assignment. He had weird dark hair with his bangs cut too short and his skin was super pale like he never went outside. He was wearing a tiny women's watch on his wrist and a pair of camo pants. And he started coughing. Like really, really COUGHING. I tried to hold my breathe, but I am really bad at living without oxygen for any length of time. He was taking notes about the recital, writing things like 'first song sounds like video game music,' 'cello looks small,' and 'lady is wearing shiny dress.' And it was in this weird creepy handwriting. When he wasn't coughing into his sleeve, he was popping every joint in his upper body. He popped every knuckle of each finger before turning his neck around like an owl. He coughed a couple of more times then started chewing on his cuticles and spitting them out.

The HORROR! The PANIC! I was leaning way to the right over into Gabe's seat. I am sure he was wondering why I was imposing on his personal space, but when I whispered my concerns to him, he just kind of chuckled at me. He would give me a huge grin each time the strange kid popped his thick neck.

Personal space issues aside, the concert was amazing. It featured a cello player and she played with a few other instruments as well. I enjoyed that part of the evening immensely. There is something so cool about hearing music performed live. I like hearing her fingers hit the fingerboard, and seeing the concentration of the musicians. There was even a song that I listen to all the time on a CD-I love it when familiar songs are played. And I really enjoyed sharing the experience with Gabe and Seth. They are getting old enough to appreciate things like that.

As much as I enjoyed the music, I was very relieved when we stood for the final ovation. I clapped enthusiastically knowing my freedom was oh so close. As we shuffled out I continued my shallow breathing until we made it into the outside air.

Great night with the boys, but I need to go take an Airborne.

1 comment:

Keryn said...

(Shudder!) That sounds like a very unpleasant experience. Did you sort of want to bathe in hand sanitizer afterward?

This is why we are on day three of almost total sequestration in our house. The idea of my kids coughing on someone and giving them this terrible flu...ugh. And my kids are not so good about covering their mouths, either. Yuck.