20 June 2017

A Rush Hour Vignette

Normally I read the paper during my commute. I somewhat stubbornly cling to my old-media habit for several reasons: more than ever, it's important to be informed; I want to support a legitimate news organization; and it helps pass the time.

But lately my paper hasn't been making it onto my porch; I find it at the bottom of the steps, and this morning it was completely soaked from the overnight rain, in spite of being delivered in a plastic bag. So I didn't have anything to read. I had a section from yesterday's paper, and started working on the crossword, but after a few minutes my pen started running out of ink. (It's refillable, but I didn't know it was so close to running out.) I had no choice but to observe my fellow passengers, but today I was glad I did.

I was able to sit after a couple of stops, which is pretty unusual. There was a couple standing in front of where I was sitting, and a woman standing adjacent to the man. Like many other commuters, she had earbuds in. When we reached one of the stations downtown where a lot of people get out, the woman in the couple said goodbye to her partner, who bent down to kiss her goodbye. As he did so, the button on the back pocket of his pants hooked onto the other woman's earbud cord. When he stood upright again the cord stayed around the button, but he had no idea.

As I watched all of this, I looked at the woman wearing the earbuds. It seemed that I was the only person who had witnessed the whole scene; I caught her eye, and both of us started laughing at how silly it was. Clearly she didn't want to touch the back of the guy's pants, so she reached out and made a motion that moved the cord away from her body, and that was able to release it from the button. I looked at her again and said "Well played" in a quiet voice. She smiled and returned her attention to her phone.