Last Wednesday I needed to get home quickly to meet up with an important houseguest. My need to get home was more important than my need to avoid the 2 train. I will do anything in my power to avoid the 2 train. The 2 is crowded, loud, and filled with with all varieties of underground life. When I saw a 10 minute wait for the 3 train, I chose to endure the 2 and get home faster.
The train was crowded, loud, and within minutes a frail woman raised her voice to announce that she was going to sing us a song and hoped that we would enjoy her performance. (Sidenote: when anyone makes any kind of announcement on a train it is always annoying. They may wish to sell us snacks, call us to repentance, or solicit donations for any number of ailments. In all cases, the riders drop their heads and avoid any form of acknowledgement of the speaker.) There we were, a train car full of people wanting to avoid the aspiring musician, and she sang.
She sang, and the train was no longer so crowded.
She sang, and the train was no longer so loud.
She sang, and the train experienced the beauty of life underground.
There aren't many times when an entire subway car of people connect with each other, but this was one of those times. When she finished we clapped, dropped crisp dollar bills in her bag, and asked for one more song. She sang again, and I was tempted to pull out my phone to record this memory but decided against it. I wanted to enjoy that moment. I didn't want the distraction of holding on to the present. My stop came, and I got off the train. Walking home, I smiled. Sometimes when you live in the Big Apple, it is easy to get lost in the grind. Other times it is easy to find solid ground.
You just have to listen to the song.