Yesterday’s flight back from NC a.) had no internet or screens to speak of and b.) was TURBULENT AF and so I was forced to confront my (completely unfounded and odd) sometimes fear of TALKING TO THE PERSON NEXT TO ME. (What if you get trapped in the conversation? How does the conversation end? Neither of you can walk away. What if someone says something awkward and unfortunate and then you just had to sit their breathing each other’s air, passing each other’s trash to the flight attendant, stepping over each other and lightly grazing each other’s laptops with each others butts for the next 100 hours? WHAT IF YOU ARE BORING, OR THEY OR BORING, OR PROBABLY YOU ARE BOTH BORING?) But talk I did, and I’m glad I did.
Nice older man next to me: So, what do you do?
Me: I’m a writer.
Man: That’s cool, what kind?
Man: THAT IS SO COOL!
Me: What about you?
Man: I’m an engineer, I fix programs and computer systems for Air Force planes.
Me: THAT IS SO EVEN COOLER!
Man: I think what YOU do is cool!
Me: NO, YOU!
Man: Whatever, YOU!
Me: WANNA BE INTERGENERATIONAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY FRIENDS?
Man: I can’t right now, I’m stuck on a violently shaking plane
Me: WANNA SPEND THE NEXT FOUR HOURS PRETENDING LIKE THAT’S NOT HAPPENING?