Written February 2006:***Despite not having any particular fear of flying, Mr. Barrios did have the following thought as his plane took off: I don’t want to die today, but if I do, it’d be a nice excuse for never having done all the things I’ve always told myself I’ll do. “He died so young. He could have done anything.”Sitting two seats away, a young lady who was, in fact, deadly afraid of flying, had a remarkably similar thought, which went like this: I don’t want to die today, and if I don’t, I’ll do all the things I’ve always said I’d do.Mr. Barrios turned and gave her a reassuring smile, which she nervously returned.Five minutes later, the pilot turned off the seatbelt sign. They hadn’t died. The young lady completely forgot the solemn promise she’d made to herself, covered herself with a soft blanket, and promptly feel asleep. Mr. Barrios, on the other hand, sighed silently to himself, feeling much too tired to sleep. He took out a large history book from his carryon and read determinedly, hoping to gleam some hint as to how and why he’d ended up on a plane in the first place.Our Mr. Barrios was on his way to say a final goodbye to his aunt. He was in a somber mood and the heavy odor of exhaust from battered taxis gave him an immediate headache as soon as he arrived. His mother was supposed to pick him up from the airport but she had yet to turn up. He leaned resignedly against his luggage and watched the other travelers arrive. Friends and family hurriedly surrounded them as they arrived and began speaking all at once, grinning ear to ear. Mr. Barrios shuffled his feet and looked through the crowds for his mother.***Ja.