Oct 1, 2010 | Kansas City, MO
Oct 1, 2010

We were over Ohio, passing a river of fog, heading east, into the storms.

Next to me was an old traveling envelope salesman, dressed in a suit, looking steadfast and slightly confused, slowly poking at keys on his keyboard, filling out a spreadsheet, planning his moves. He was also heading east, navigating his own river of fog, passing through his own kind of storm. He put away the laptop and ordered a tomato juice. He took off his glasses, lay them on the Sky Mall catalogue, and with his other hand he rubbed his eyes. For a long time, he just rubbed his eyes. When he stopped, he looked across the aisle at a young girl dragging her hand across an iPad. Then he put back on his glasses and he closed his eyes behind them. His eyes stayed shut, and I looked at his plastic cup, full of ice, with a faint red stain at the bottom, all that was left of the juice. As he slept, the ice began to melt, and the bloody juice got more and more like water.