Song in a Subway Station

You notice him as you get off the train and make your way down the platform. He’s wearing an oversized hoodie bill-boarding the name of a band you haven’t heard of since middle school. He looks like he would smell like stale cigarettes, but he’s too far away for your nose to confirm your suspicions.

The young man in the hoodie is playing a guitar, and sweet chords make their way clearly to your ears over the continuous din of the subway station. He’s singing too, surprisingly beautifully, and you can’t help but notice that you actually like the sound of it.

You walk purposefully, simultaneously both towards and past him. You mean to perhaps nod and smile, or give a kind word, or perhaps drop a dollar in the open guitar case in front of him. As you zero in the distance between you, the train starts moving again, grunting and heaving its rickety old body while screaming into the night, and it drowns out the sound of his voice, and almost the sound of his music.


But it’s enough. You walk on by, wordlessly, taking a left and heading down broken escalator stairs into the belly of the busy, bustling station, to get onto your next train, leaving the singing man behind to hope to be found by someone less distracted than you.