I have had my fair share of flights, more than some, a lot less than others I’m sure. But enough. I put on my noise cancelling headphones and read, sleep or watch a movie. Shoes are off and I’ve got the pashmina wrapped around me keeping me cozy. But mostly I read. I find it’s the perfect time to finish three or more books, and I can read start to finish with the only interruption being, “What would you like to drink?”
I brought four books with me, two were in the seat pocket in front of me and the other two were stowed in my luggage overhead, and as usual, the boarding passes were my bookmarks. One of the airports I was flying through still wasn’t able to manage the mobile boarding passes, so I had plenty of paper with me to help from losing my place if I had to stash my book.
The plane was still boarding as I settled in and opened the book. Across the row from me were two very large men. The woman in front of me offered to switch with one of the men, she was much smaller than both of them and it would give both of them more room.
Before taking off, the man in the window seat already had his good book out reading “scriptures”, explaining to his new seatmate, as she had just proclaimed that she was “born again”, about something that I blocked out. The conversation was loud, Mr. Truck Driver clearly didn’t like women, they had their place and was struggling attempting kindness towards the smaller woman next to him. The man seated in front of them shook his head, holding it in his hands. At least I had my headphones on and could focus on the book.
I had just turned to page 12, “
They were discussing their religious experiences when I heard clearly, “I took him behind my truck and laid my hands on him. I told him that the evil would be gone, I prayed with him. They thought he had meningitis, but when he went back to the doctors, they found no trace of it, just some bad headaches. He believed in me that day behind the truck, and I healed him.”
The woman was speechless. The peanut gallery in the row in front of them were giggling, maybe at Mr. Truck Driver, maybe at the woman for believing him.
He kept quoting from the book and a few passages later, Mr Truck Driver tells Ms. Calico Skirt, “Adam did it all wrong. He should have been the one to give Eve the apple, not the other way around. That woman ruined him, and he knew better.” I tried to just listen and let it go, but I couldn’t help wondering about this man’s vision of women. I wondered too what his seat mate thought. I tried to look over without staring, Ms. Calico Skirt was nodding away.
I was finally able to let the conversation dissolve around me and I got lost in all 23 characters of
I looked at the cover of
My smile grew. Thank you very much Mr. Palahniuk.