A man boards a plane. He is fleeing everything that saddens him, and he makes a special effort to think of the airport as a place of rebirth, or at least birth. It looks a little like a hospital, he tells himself. There is more light than darkness. People enter in one state and exit in another one.
This last point strikes him as a joke, which is why he repeats it to the young woman seated next to him on the plane. She is beautiful, with eyes that are alternately mournful and hard. Perhaps she is fleeing something, too. Over the sea, the plane experiences turbulence. The woman grabs the man’s hand. her touch saddens him, unaccountably.
(The following is a short piece of fiction written by Ben Greenman. Each story offers a glimpse into the mind of three strangers who find themselves seated next to one another on a plane.)