On Another Plane
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Having spent the last four hours in the terminal, I was relieved to finally be on my connecting flight. I settled into my seat by the window, pulled some work out of my briefcase, and slid it into the pocket of the seat in front of me. Then I buckled in for the short flight.
Out the window, I watched the baggage handlers loading bags onto the conveyor belt, and then turned to realize that someone had joined me in the adjacent seat. It was an older woman with flowing white hair matched by her flowing white robes.
I nodded a greeting and then immediately pulled my papers out of the pocket to discourage any attempts at conversation. Planes are a good time to work on math, with no distractions and no excuses to do other things.
The door to the plane was fastened shut, and then the flight attendant explained the security procedures. As the plane rolled backward away from the gate and then taxied to the runway, I was careful not to look up from my work. The plane rumbled down the runway and...