An excerpt from my essay:
By Plane, Part One
She is in her seventies with a solid frame and a mannish nose and we will share a death but not our names. She wears a big khaki-colored jacket full of cargo pockets in which she rummages first to check on her half-spent cigarette, later for a damp tissue. Wrappers come out, go back in without inspection. Betcha this pen is dead, she crows, transferring a chewed ballpoint from somewhere in a breast pocket to a Velcro flap by her thigh. I may have seen hands like this before, but can’t place them. Something I say about the chewed pen delights her, so her eyes scrunch closed and the bridge of her mannish nose scrunches too and she purses her lips so that only her two front teeth show in this thing of a smile. Leaning left and right in a couple of quick sways, she finger-fans her face and chortles. It is a gravelly cooing. Full essay at Nowhere Magazine.