Stranger Thoughts


I met you on a plane. I was anxious and nervous and you had papers and a 50 cent notebook in your lap. I’d never sat next to someone who held their belongings in their lap on a plane. I had a lot on my mind and you spontaneously jot down words in scripty scrawl in that 50 cent notebook.

It’s rare for me to talk to plane people. Ive been a plane person since I was four. I have flown hundreds of times, mostly by myself. My young short life is filled with flights and plane strangers. Plane strangers that are just that. Strangers. People who wont remember me or be remembered by me. But you. You asked “are you a writer?”

And I wonder why. Why did you ask? Instead you could have read the words I typed on my bright computer screen or chosen silent wonderings and contemplations of who I may have been. But no. You chose conversation, an exchange with words with a girl you’d never met. And now I’m thinking of you again, as I have countless times since that late night flight, on that plane with a broken air conditioner. Your words, your smile, your curiosity, that light in your eyes.

Our conversation was easy, flowing, inspiring. Like gentle waves on the shore, rising and resting, in and out, always smooth, always comfortable. Perhaps a little thrilling as the stars in your eyes sang through me. Without you, I may not have felt this eagerness, this courage, this excitement to write and share my story with the world. To challenge myself like you do. To acknowledge my fear and still dare to try what scares me.

I love your passion and reach for growth. You don’t let anything hold you back. You ask for critique and you keep stretching to be the best you can be. As I read the words you have written, I feel my world expand like the universe, shifting, spreading, swelling. You captivate my soul and pull on my heart strings. You redefine the rules. You remake me anew.

I know this all seems crazy to say about a stranger on a plane that I talked to for maybe an hour, but it’s all true. So here I am thinking about you, a stranger on a plane that I wish I knew.

And as I think I wonder, do your thoughts ever drift towards me like mine do towards you. Just another stranger on another plane, a stranger that you may never see again, but in an imperfect remembrance of a long night and a short plane ride.