Do you ever find yourself on a packed subway train and discover that the only empty seat is the middle seat? The one between two people.
Sometimes there’s a bag on it and you have to ask someone if you could interrupt their comfortably seated belongings. Other times there is a guy manspreading (spreading his legs and taking up two seats). They can be too squishy, especially when I am carrying my worldly belongings on my back. I try my best not to touch anyone as if everyone is made of lava.
A lot of times the middle seat exists because strangers don’t want to sit beside each other. However, I frequently discover after sitting down that the two people on both ends do know each other and I become the awkward fulcrum to a very weird seesaw. I listen to two people share their lives in great detail, without a care in the world that there is a person awkwardly between them.
Now when I see that empty middle seat, I would rather stand and watch other people experience it for themselves.