Imperfect Fiction



Before we take off, the young woman in the window seat is on her phone. “Did you get my text?” She pauses. “Did you get my text?” She pauses. “No, I didn’t get your reply.” She pauses. “I feel so awkward right now.”

A half-hour into the flight, she turns to me. “Where are you from?”

I tell her.

“Where you live with...?”

I tell her no one.

“Are you divorced?”

I tell you yes.


Later, she says, “I’m worried. May I ask your advice? My bag is in the overhead bin back there.” She gestures back several rows. “When the plane lands, how should I get my bag? Should I wait for everyone to get off the plane? Or should I fight my way past people to go back and get it? Or should I ask people to pass it up to me?”

I tell her that she seems to have formulated three good options.

She says, “This morning, my mother told me that my grandfather was very sick.”

I say I am sorry to hear that.

“Don’t be sorry. My mom was upset. I don’t know how to talk with someone who is upset.”

I suggest that everyone struggles with that.

“Really? You just made me feel better.”

Hot Fudge Sundae

Hot Fudge Sundae

Night in the Park

Night in the Park