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6:46 p.m. - August 09, 2009
Improbable, in Wisconsin
Improbable but true story:

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.


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