6:46 p.m. - August 09, 2009
Youngish man seated next to me tires of looking out the window and asks, "What brings you to Wisconsin?" and in that moment I decide not to point to my Bose noise-cancelling headset as usual and engage this man in conversation.
Work, I say, and inquire the same of him. He's returning home from a trip to Banff and I mention Lake Louise, he makes some restaurant suggestions while I'm in Milwaukee. Pleasantries. Simple.
What type of work, he asks, and I say education consulting. He asks more questions and I narrow it down to ASL when he breaks out the news he's an ASL interpreter - a newbie to be sure, but recently graduated and certified. So we talk and find we know people in common when he asks me my name. Jason MyLastName, I say, and his eyes widen.
Wait, he says, and leans down to rummage in his carry-on and -
yes, you guessed it
pulls out my book.
It is like being weightless, a momentary soar high into the air with a susurrant glide back down, a delicious combination of embarrassment and pride, a shy half-smile on my face when he says it is my book that set him on the path he's on now.
I did that. Me.