Joseph Fasano, an American poet and novelist, had a surreal experience when he sat next to a fellow passenger on a flight reading one of his books.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 27, 2023. It has since been updated.
When it comes to experiencing the joy of being an author, few can top the surreal moment Joseph Fasano experienced on a flight recently. As he was sitting next to a fellow passenger, he noticed that she was reading a book written by him - without having any idea of his identity. In disbelief, Fasano took to Twitter to document the momentous occasion and ponder what to do. The American author had a stroke of luck when he randomly found himself sitting next to a woman reading his latest book, titled "The Swallows of Lunetoo." Fasano posted a photo of the book on Twitter and asked his followers what he should do next. He received an avalanche of responses, with one follower suggesting he should whisper, "Is it better than the last one?" in the woman's ear.
The person next to me on this airplane is reading my novel. Should I say anything? pic.twitter.com/RgaaO8ZswT— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) February 22, 2023
I'm thinking of whispering, "Is it better than the last one?"— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) February 22, 2023
They just opened it to page 10 so this is going to be an interesting ride.— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) February 22, 2023
Little did Fasano know that this chance encounter would lead to a pleasant conversation. He asked the woman if she was enjoying the book and revealed that he had read it "about 100 times." To his surprise, the woman didn't recognize him but instead began to open up about her trip to visit family. The two ended up chatting and Fasano shared a follow-up tweet saying they were still talking. He wrote: "I asked them if they're traveling for work or fun and they said "just a little trip to see family," and looked directly at me for a moment and...we're still here.
🤣🤣 Definitely hasn't recognized me. Although someone in the airport actually thought I was Milo Ventimiglia, so there's that...— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) February 22, 2023
This is what the Twitter audience had to say about the episode. One user wrote, "You watch them read it. They’ve just started it so you can quietly suffer through every sigh, sleepy moment—or conversely every moment they seem gripped by it. Do they put it down to eat, or do they eat holding it in the other hand. You suffer. That’s the story now. For hours." "Ok this is in NO WAY comparable but I made a new Facebook friend and 5 days later she changes her banner picture to a photo of herself in front of a mural I painted. She didn’t know until a mutual friend told her in the comments but I was SO touched." Another user wrote.
The original tweet has now garnered more than 2 million views, 20k likes and close to 600 retweets. As for Joseph Fasano himself, he is a poet and novelist raised in Goshen, New York. His first book, "Fugue for Other Hands," won the Cider Press Review Book Award in 2011 and his novel, "The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing," was published to critical acclaim in 2020.
UPDATE: Joseph Fasano has a *new friend!*— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) February 22, 2023
My approach: "Are you enjoying that?"
Her: "I think so. Have you read it?"
Me: "About 100 times."
Me: "Just to make sure everything was right."
....and now we're buds
Joseph Fasano's unexpected venture on the plane is an example that fortuitous moments can occur in the most unsuspecting places. The chance meeting between Fasano and the reader of his book led to a unique conversation and a friendship that may have never happened without the luck of being seated next to each other. While we can not always predict the outcome of such unforeseen moments, it is pivotal to remain open and take the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of life's surprises.