Our theme for the month of October was selected by readers and is a format challenge: write a post completely in dialogue.

“Please fasten your seatbelts, place your seatbacks and tray tables in the upright and locked position, and make sure all your carry-on items are stowed completely under the seat in front of you.”

“At this time, make sure your cell phones are in airplane mode. We do have wifi on the aircraft—and it sometimes works—so you’ll be able to stay connected to life on the ground.”

Sometimes? Do they expect me to pay for sometimes?

“In the event of cabin pressure change, oxygen masks will drop from above. Please secure your mask before helping others.”


“So where are you guys headed?”

“We are taking the train from Boston to Portland, Maine. Our whole family is going to meet there for a long weekend.”

“No way! I lived there awhile back, moved my family all over the world and we are actually planning to move back to Maine. We miss the slower pace of life.”

“Where else have you lived? “

“Long story short, I work with a company that builds things, so we have lived in cities and in small towns, domestic and international, so it will be interesting where my children end up because they have experienced both ends of that spectrum.”

“That sounds like a lot of moving! We have stayed mostly in the same place, but our children have spread out along the east coast, so it is nice to go meet in Maine. Do you have any recommendations for restaurants in Portland?”

“When you’re in Portland, you absolutely have to go to The Holy Donut. It will change your life. But make sure you go to the one downtown. It’s in a neat part of Portland that you’ll want to see. Make sure to have lobster rolls too, oh and don’t forget to go to Freeport for the L.L. Bean headquarters!”

“We will definitely have to do that. Glad we sat by you!”


“I’m actually on a connecting flight, traveling to a corn hole tournament. It’s a pretty big deal,” the man in the seat behind me announced.

I chuckled to myself from the row ahead. It’s beanbag toss.

“They have whole tournaments for that?” the older woman next to him asked.

“Oh yeah… I’ve been participating for years. I have been training with my family and I’m actually meeting them there. I consider it a sport.”

“I’ve never been good at that game… my aim was always terrible. Well, best of luck to you,” the woman replied, obviously trying to end the conversation.

Everybody’s got their thing, I thought as they fell silent.

Grand Rapids

“It’s been a difficult season. Both of my parents passed away, and I was there to help them through everything, but it was so hard to watch.” The woman behind me sniffled.

I pressed pause on my podcast and listened in. Do these people know each other?

“They passed away within a couple months of each other. My dad was struggling with Alzheimer’s, and I had to keep reminding him that mom was gone.”

“Oh wow, I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say… I cannot imagine. I’ve lost one parent and that was hard enough.”

Nope, they definitely don’t know each other.

“No it’s okay, I appreciate you listening to my story. You know, it’s kind of nice to talk about this while looking down from the plane window. Everything looks more manageable from above.”


“We know you have many choices when you fly, and we’d like to thank you for choosing to fly with us today. We would like to be the first to welcome you to Saint Louis.”

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