On a flight this morning next to me sat an older guy in what I assumed was his mid sixties. He and I sat on the right side of the plane, his wife on the left side. Before the flight started she handed a granola bar past me to him, and before he ate it, he bowed his head and lifted his right hand up in front of him, obviously praying.
Right before the plane took off, he prayed again. He’d bow his head and lift his hand up, with the palm facing out and the thumb spreading out, pointing towards my knee, holding the position for thirty seconds or so.
I didn’t think it was strange until he did it for about the fifth or sixth time. I know there are some really pious men in this world, and there’s nothing wrong with someone taking a moment to pray on a flight, but this was getting excessive. I was beginning to think he knew something I didn’t about this flight.
Then I noticed a gnarly blister with a flap of skin hanging off the web of his hand, between his thumb and index finger. He elbowed my elbow, and said “Check out that nasty mother f**ker” as he peered at his wound through the top halves of his glasses, avoiding the lower bifocal part of the lenses, palm facing out, thumb pointing my way, prodding the flap with his other finger.