Today I Left a Library Book on a Plane

  1. The book in question: Tenth of December by George Saunders
    I am about two thirds through. Although I can't speak to the ending, that first two thirds is dizzyingly good.
  2. I am flying to Los Angeles for a week. I had a layover in Chicago this morning.
    A short layover, the kind where you ready yourself to run through the airport to your gate and narrowly board. The kind where you cross your fingers that your bags will make the jump.
  3. The plane landed, I ran.
    And there, on a runway in Chicago, halfway down the length of a plane, in the pocket of a middle seat, sat a presumably perfect book that I really wanted to finish. Waiting, I assume, to go on to Detroit.
  4. For a bookmark I was using a clipped article from the New York Times about menopause.
    I'm 25. It occurs to me that whoever finds the book will probably have a pretty inaccurate picture of me in their mind.
  5. I am reminded of a collection of essays that I bought once in a used book shop.
    There were two notes tucked inside, from a father to his son. I am now pretty peeved at myself for having treasured them. There was no personal information, but should I have tried to find the original owner? Taken the letters back to the bookshop, hoping someone would look for them there? Crap.
  6. I am also reminded of the time my watch was stolen from my seat, while I was sick in the back of the plane.
    I had some kind of flu. A kindly middle-aged flight attendant held me in her arms while I threw up into a trash bag. She then proceeded to try to set me up with her son, a military man in his late twenties. She showed me his picture, hefty bag clasped between my fingers. "The girls love him!" She said.
  7. My thought while packing The Book at 3:40 something in the morning as I left my apartment:
    "Don't forget this while you're gone"
  8. My thought as I tucked The Book into that fateful seat pocket:
    "Don't forget this when you go"
  9. My thought as I sink back into my seat, helpless and dumb on another plane, somewhere miles over somewhere:
    "This job is going to be memorable as hell."
  10. Elliott Smith sings into my ear "situations get fucked up"
  11. I order a Bloody Mary.