I’m not chatty on airplanes. I mean, I do try to be polite, maybe a little how’s it going? before I dig into whatever book or writing I brought along. But this trip was different.
I’ve been thinking about conversations lately (and chatting about it on Facebook Live if you are over there). So when the man next to me clearly wanted to talk when we were both en route to Salt Lake City on Friday, I decided to leave my book in the back of my seat and talk to him.
Or rather, listen mostly. He was a talker, a storyteller and very entertaining. We talked the whole flight and I mostly asked him questions. But I did mention that my husband and I had a burger restaurant in Taos, New Mexico and that’s where things get interesting.
We didn’t know each other’s names when we said goodbye. I read my book on the next connection and other than mentioning to my husband that I sat next to an entertaining talker, I didn’t think of him again. But the next day I received a Facebook message from a name I didn’t know. It read…
Hey, I don’t know if you remember me but I caught a flight from Kansas City to Salt Lake City and I was sitting next to you. I was looking up burger stand in Taos, trying to decide if my family and I would fly through to Arizona or drive and I were to drive I would stop in. I saw the owners names and it talked about your books. I remember you being a writer. I read the summary of Float On and I was surprised. My dad has AIDS and it’s something I don’t talk about much if ever, but that was so strange. I knew you said you wrote but I didn’t know I was sitting next to a published author. Anyhow, congrats on all your success. I just saw that about your book and was shocked. Thanks for all of your hospitality.
I’ve been publicly talking for several years now about losing my dad to AIDS and THIS IS THE FIRST TIME ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME! To have made a connection like this with someone who was a stranger feels special, a validation for being open with what I had kept close. So I am grateful – for conversations, transparency and serendipity.