Losing a Seat
Forrest Roth

The last to be seated in the room seats himself. Then he loses his seat to another person while standing up to relieve poor circulation in his legs, forcing him to another part of the room where he doesn't want to be. Adding to his losses, he loses sight of the seat taken from him. He is lost without the seat he once occupied. The room reminds him, too, of how well-placed he used to be with a seat; but without one, there is nothing taking place that he takes as his own. Now he is the only person standing because he wanted to stand after being seated. He couldn't have arrived here without the desire to be seated to begin with. This same desire leads him to remain standing in a room full of placed people watching him stand, and with vague apprehension of him, he notes. It's as if this situation is his fault for standing — which, to be sure, it is. He doesn't blame anyone, not even the person who took his seat. He doesn't blame himself either because this is the last thing he should do before his legs give out from poor circulation. When his legs do give out, then he could blame himself all he wants, along with the seated people in this room. Or, should he start the blame sooner, a person who politely offers her seat to him asks. Yes, he replies, I'll start sooner, thank you; and he takes her seat.

Forrest Roth is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Marshall University in West Virginia, and his recent novel is Gary Oldman Is a Building You Must Walk Through (What Books Press). His flash fiction has appeared in NOONDenver QuarterlyJukedTimber, and many other journals. Links can be found at www.forrestroth.blogspot.com.