I don’t usually wear headphones in the subway and I try not to look at my emails or texts. I like to be “in the moment” with the chaos and the subhuman conditions of the New York transit system.
It was Friday evening around 7pm. Maybe the slog of a week of work, the intense cold, the endless winter, the bleakness of the gray-black ice still on the streets were heavy on most of the passengers in the subway car.
Those are my guesses, but I don’t really know why the West Side 96th Street station was quiet and the subway car, too, was quiet. Silent, actually. I could feel the silence because I was not connected by headphones to another reality.
It was a rare moment of peace in the City That Never Sleeps (or Shuts Up). In fact, it was a cosmic anomaly.
And then this bubble of peace was punctured by a man with a nervous laugh and a too-loud voice saying to his co-worker (I was following the thread since 42nd Street), “It is literally so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Where did that saying come from? The quiet is freaking me out a little.” [screechy giggle followed by senseless ramblings.]
Actually, dude, it wasn’t quiet anymore. But your interruption of it made it so much sweeter by the contrast.
And the co-worker you were hitting on isn’t interested. Just sayin’.