The Place Fillers

John Tarr, Editor

The universe has a quota. In the world there can only be a certain number of genuine people. These are the people who make you think or make you feel, the people who have changed your life just by having a conversation with them; these people are genuine. Unfortunately, there are a finite number of these people available at one time. To compensate for the rest, the cosmos give us, as I like to call them, the place fillers.

The place fillers are those who are simply there. They don’t change us, nor do they make us feel or think. Instead, they dwell in our schools and our businesses and they fill an empty chair.

Think about it for just a second (warning: this is about to get metaphysical). Think about the chair you are sitting in. You can feel it beneath you, bearing your weight, supporting you. Are you in that chair for a purpose? Or do you sit there because that chair needed to be filled?

The fillers don’t offer anything to the world. We all waste our time on the place fillers now and then. They are our girlfriends and boyfriends, only for a short period. And then we realize they have given us nothing other than a date. Did they make us laugh or cry? Did they make us think or feel? And the answer is always no. The place filler offers nothing.

From time to time, place fillers disguise themselves as genuine. They are the phonies; they pretend to care, not because they actually do, but because they are told to. At first we might see them as genuine; we think they are cultured and interesting but then we realize we confused intrigue with pretentiousness. The complexity and titillation was only skin deep.

The genuine people develop new opinions and new thoughts; the place fillers don’t. They believe what others do, and never have a thought on their own. I like to think I am genuine. That may be arrogant and in saying this, I may be phony. But I find my only hope in life is that my life be purposeful; I need to be able to form my own opinions and stay literate on my own not be brainwashed into the common idea.

There was a time, a short time mind you, where I had fallen in with the place fillers. They seemed to care and to be captivating but by spending a little time with them it was easy to see they weren’t. They had no new thoughts and it’s impossible to have a conversation with them because they habitually agree. Not because they actually do but because they can’t form their own ideas.

After I had ended my spree with the fillers I made it my quest to find the bona fide people in the world. I succeeded. They became my friends, my teachers, my peers, and my mentors. They changed my life by showing me that I was more than a face in a crowd.
I know this article is cliché and by the shear mention of phonies I embody all of the typical teenage platitudes. But I feel that it still needs to be said. My purpose in writing this is to show my readers that the life of a place filler is no life at all.

If you fear you are, search for culture in the world. Read a newspaper or a book you’ve always wanted to read but never have. See a captivating movie instead of watching Step Brothers for the tenth time. Look for those who make you think and feel. It’s so easy to be timid and blend in with the crowd, but its so rewarding not to.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of Wildcat Word.