A Middle Finger to You at the Window Seat

An angry letter on behalf of all of humanity

Jack Purdy
3 min readMar 9, 2024
Created with DALL-E

Originally published at https://examininglife.substack.com.

This one’s to you sir. Yes, you next to me on the window seat with the audacity, the sheer nerve, to draw your window shades down, reducing the glare on your phone as you mindlessly doom scroll to kill time on the tail end of this transcontinental flight.

While you may not have realized, I was gazing beyond that slender pane of glass. I was admiring the celestial blue and white masterpiece kissed by the nascent golden glow of the recently arisen sun that we’ve been so fortunately graced with.

You evidently do not appreciate the beauty in these sublime, bulbous creations of condensation that form infinitely changing, abstract, towering fluff balls floating through the sky for our viewing pleasure. And it clearly means nothing to you that we are seeing this all from a point in space, a moment in time, that no one else has, is, or will ever see as such.

Yet here you are, depriving me of that. I sit here crammed in the unwavering embrace of a middle seat after a last-minute flight change and am now relegated to jostling for arm position as I pen this note hoping you’re of the ilk to stick your nose in other people’s business and avert your gaze from your dopamine device to catch a glimpse of this angry letter directed to you.

In fact, this letter isn’t just coming from me. I’m hereby nominating myself as the spokesperson for the 98% of humans born on this earth who spent their entire life with two feet on the ground looking up in veritable envy at the birds, dreaming of what it could be like to fly amongst the clouds, to be within arm’s distance of their fluffy grandeur.

Imagine the collective desire, the aggregate longing of one hundred billion people. Each and every one of whom you are so crassly disrespecting. To call this a travesty would be a compliment to the brazen, calamitous insult you throw their way.

So don’t apologize to me. Say sorry to the vast majority of every person dead or alive who wasn’t as fortunate as you to sit on this modern marvel of a flying tube because it’s them you’re disparaging with your nonchalant closing of the window shade.

On behalf of myself and my representative group of plaintiffs, please sir, roll up your window and take a glance at the objectively breathtaking scene laid out before you; it’s a chance to step out of your self-centered existence even for just a brief moment and relish the awe-inspiring, perspective-altering view from 30,000 feet above the ground.


Guy next to you

PS: I have half a mind to fold this up and leave it in your lap as we deplane here shortly but something tells me this would make for an entertaining newsletter post and maybe, just maybe, I can play my part in stopping another egregious act of shade closing in the future.

Originally published at https://examininglife.substack.com.



Jack Purdy

Writing A Life Examined newsletter | Director of Sales @Messari