Space Available: Sorry, extra space, it’s over

Scott Stavrou
Nov 3, 2017 · 5 min read

There’s only room for one space in my heart now

Space and my thumbs had a good thing for a long time, but then the sentence ended.

Dear extra space,

After years of dedicated devotion and despite the strident tutelage of my 10th Grade Typing-Driver’s Ed. teacher (sorry Mrs. Rabinowitz!), it’s with a heavy heart that I tell you I think it’s time we end our relationship.

For awhile we were comfortably compatible in the cradle of convention — but maybe we just became too conventional. But not anymore, extra space. Things change. It’s not you, it’s not even me. It’s them. They hate you. They call you old and out of fashion.

But I still remember the good times we had. Sometimes I think about all we went though and… it gives me pause.

Every now and then I’ll find myself at a Padres game or a Nickelback concert, staring wistfully at all the forlorn empty spaces and think about what a thing we had together, extra space. Then I get nostalgic and think about sending you a late-night text with “I miss you’ with two spaces after the period before I add an emphatic ‘Really’ as its own separate forceful and declarative sentence, you know? Not just one thought, or even two thoughts all closely merged together with no space to breathe, but two thoughts, like us, each one its own individual entity yet inextricably connected and reinforcing the other while still managing to give one another space. We had some good times, extra space. Good times, right up until the end. But now there’s only room for one space it my heart and it’s not you. It’s the other space.

Extra space everywhere but seating only for one. Period.

People younger than I got annoyed at our fidelity. Jealous about what we had, probably. Even though our relationship bloomed in an era of monotype, we were a duet, a dedicated duality. Like Bogart and Bacall, we went together. When a sentence walked in, you just knew you were going to see a couple of spaces right after it. Like all the best relationships, we just sort of worked, you know? After a period, you were the one, extra space, even if you were really two, you know what I mean?

But monotype, like our relationship (and probably Mrs. Rabinowitz, too. Sorry!), is dead now. I don’t want you to make a big thing about it, extra space, but the fonts of wisdom are proportional these days. They say that you’re not necessary, not needed — not even wanted.

Time is limited, people are in a hurry and now one thought is followed quickly by another. Extra space, you’re just not sexy anymore. Everyone, even Medium, seems to agree that it’s time we move on, because they won’t even let me have one last fling with you, extra space. You’re just not welcome in these times, extra space.

I don’t want you to feel the way you did when ee cummings broke up with you back in the day. That wasn’t your fault. Remember, he also unceremoniously broke it off with punctuation and capitalization and used to intentionally misspell words and where did that get him, huh? He’s in the lowercase of poets.

For the most part, though, everyone loved and respected you, extra space. The AP Stylebook, Strunk & Write, the Chicago Manual of Style. Even sweet old Mrs. Rabinowitz. You were a hit. But those days are gone. Over and done. The end.

But don’t be sad, extra space. You were a classic. And so what if social media, publishing and computer code don’t want you anymore. There’s lots of wonderful things that an extra space like you could do.

The end…

Don’t despair, the future for unused extra space is large. Here’s some things you can do, extra space:

For one, maybe list yourself on AirBnB. People will pay a fortune for extra space in Williamsburg and you are nothing if not extra space, extra space. Just gentrify yourself a bit and Brooklyn hipsters will be lining up on their penny-farthing bicycles to sleep in your beloved extra space and pay a good deal of Bitcoin for the privilege of doing so.

But don’t stop there, space. Sure, NASA may have given up on you, extra space, but there’s still Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk — and they both love space. Something to explore, anyway, space.

While no one seems to want you around in typesetting or computer code, extra space, every single time I fly Southwest or American, you’re literally all anyone can talk about. You’ll probably be much more appreciated there, anyway. At 30,000 feet, maybe you’ll get the respect you deserve.

Farewell, extra space, I wish you only the best. No one will ever take the small special place you held at the end of my sentences. Period. Single.

This space available for applause. Unlike spaces at the end of sentences, there’s room for as many claps as you like. Be a rebel, use more than one.

After a long struggle, Scott Stavrou has weaned himself off of two spaces but there will always be a small, empty place in his heart. Stavrou writes about writing, satire and humor on Medium.

If you’re looking for some more irreverent inanity, you might enjoy:

Scott Stavrou is the author of Losing Venice, a novel

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