The race is on: must. proceed. single. file. to. exit. Don’t make eye contact, stare straight ahead. We’re herded sheep.
I follow the rules, not cutting in line. I do one better: I let a tall businessman pass through. He’s just going to pay for a Metrocard, no harm done.
His briefcase zipper, my headphones. They’ve never met but suddenly they’re inseparable. Earbuds ripped from ears, I say “Wait! Stop!” Come on, sir, you don’t have headphones in. Can’t you hear me?
It’s an embarrassing moment I’d rather not relive, but my headphones are safe in my pocket once again.
Writing in Transit is a recurring series of 100-word stories based on my experiences on the subway. Posted on Fridays, they’re exactly 100 words. I double checked.