On Sunday afternoon I flew home from a weekend with family on a lake in Alabama. It would take about 47 pages of blogging to explain all the reasons I felt crazy stressed by the time I boarded that flight, but I did. And all I wanted to do was sit in silence with my thoughts for the hour and fourteen minute flight.
Then a guy sat down next to me. “This isn’t my seat. I’m supposed to sit over there, but someone else is in my seat.” I nodded. I liked his voice. You know how you can hear kindness in someone’s voice? I think I’m probably a terrible judge of character in general. But I get voices.
He began talking almost immediately. “I’m a therapist so I ask a lot of questions. Just tell me if you want me to stop.” “I’m a journalist so I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions too. We should be good.” I’ve also been told I ask questions to deflect the subject from anything actually personal about me. But I figured I’d let the therapist figure that out on his own.
We talked for an hour and fourteen minutes. Sixteen if you count the deplaning. I literally poured out my worries and concerns as if this was a legitimate therapy session. It obviously wasn’t. We also talked about him. And as the plane was landing he was like “So you’re pretty shady.” I laughed, “I hope you don’t say that to your patients.”
Actually though, therapists should probably say stuff like that. I mean, it’s got to be tempting. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff like fate and timing and random circumstances. I don’t exactly know where he fell in that spectrum, but I do know that I’m really glad someone took his seat.