The Gravity of What Has Gone (4)
Two days later, I was on a plane out of London.
“Hello,” said the young American woman next to me as soon as I sat down. “Many people use air travel for business or vacations. Is that why you are flying today?”
I could see her practicing that in the car on the way to the airport. Probably an assignment from a therapist: make small talk with a stranger. I took pity on her and said, “Neither.”
“I love the way you say that!” She leaned in, setting all her necklaces swinging. “‘Neither!’ I love English accents!”
“From Scotland? You were born there? Went to school there? Live there now?”
I mentally reassigned her from therapy for extreme shyness to therapy for extreme nosiness. “Yes,” I answered, and then, to forestall her asking where I’d been baptized, added, “I’m traveling because I used to work with a guy. Troy Olson.”
“To visit him?”
“No. Because of his voice.” She stared at me. I shrugged, suddenly exhausted, unable to marshal some new response. I turned away and pretended to sleep.