Digital Ping-Pong

Several years ago, I read about an air force pilot who deliberately crashed his jet into a remote area of the Rockies. I don’t usually pay much attention to things like that, but for some reason the mystery of this one took hold of me. I was moved to write a poem-of-sorts about it to my wife. A few days later I sent it to her in an email.

It is all over.
Such a disappointment.
They located the plane.
Confirmed it was the pilot.
Soon the bombs will be uncovered
I had been so hoping
It would remain a mystery

Where did the plane go?
What was up with the pilot?
How were the bombs to be used?
What fun to speculate.
Chapter one through six.
A best seller.
Blockbuster film.
Italy each summer.

After I sent her the poem-of-sorts, it didn’t take her long to reply in kind. Her reply itself was unexpected, especially its speed. Her volley was sparkling.

No more mystery?
I disagree.
Why did he do it?
What terrible thing ate at his soul?
Why did he wheel away?
Only to land
In the silent snow
Buried in ice
Fragments scattered

Did he long for the quiet?
Turn off the engine
Give up the struggle
Had he dickered with dying
Had he thought it all through
Was it just an impulse
Or nothing
And everything
A mechanical failure of the soul
Or only a mechanical failure
No more mystery?
Now even more.
Paris in the Fall

I was overwhelmed by her reply. Our exchange was a breathtaking moment in the history of the Internet, to say nothing of our marriage.