Last weekend we went to see the documentary I Am, made by Tom Shadyac, the director of such silly movies as Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, and Bruce Almighty. After a life-changing injury, he decided to interview an array of spiritual and intellectual leaders and pose the question of what is wrong with our world today.
I knew from the trailer that the movie had an uplifting message about the fundamental interdependence of us all, and I was looking forward to seeing it. Arriving at the theater a little early, because we had been lucky to find on-street parking downtown, we had our choice of seats, so we picked a couple in the center. I relaxed and waited for the film to start, and over the next few minutes several more people came, but the place was by no means full when the lights went down. Just at that moment, a really big guy entered the theater and, despite all the other open seats, came and sat right next to me.
All of a sudden, my whole experience was a lot less comfortable; I was physically crowded and kind of irritated. There was another seat on the other side of Heidi, and she suggested I just scoot over. I squirmed as I considered the idea, wondering what the guy would think if I moved-- it would obviously be because he sat there. I thought, too, about the premise of the movie we were about to see-- that we were all connected on some level, and I tried to reconcile my strong desire for personal space with that idea.
In the end? I moved. The movie was good: thought-provoking and uplifting, but I left the theater a little bummed, weighed down by my inability to overcome my discomfort at sitting a bit too close to another human being.