I’m generally a happy person. My life is challenging, but I mostly get to do what I want, and I’m surrounded by good people. But find me on my commute and I get exceedingly crotchety and cranky. I don’t get violent, I become like Tommy Lee Jones in any movie that Tommy Lee Jones has ever starred in. And considering what a public transit commute is like in any big city, who can blame me? I keep to myself, I don’t jostle anyone, and I get home to my big, adorable, stupid cat, and everything is good again.
There’s this thing, though, that I never noticed during my time served in New York, and that’s the singing. This usually happens at night, but it can pop up any time. Someone, of any age, with earpods in their ears, will start belting out, at the top of their lungs, and usually not very well, whatever they’re listening to. It’s loud enough to pierce through my podcast, and it drives me insane. It also puts me in a dilemma. I encourage self-expression, however you want to do it, from wearing colorful shoes to dancing on the sidewalk. This, though, is kind of awful. Even when the singer has talent, it’s kind of awful. I can’t maintain my bubble if someone keeps popping it with whatever the latest star has to say this month. There’s a reason playing music without headphones is illegal on the Metro.
There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not about to tell a Metro agent about it, because what are they going to do about it? And even if they could, am I really the kind of person who wants to penalize someone for doing something that makes them happy? No, I’m not a Republican. The good news is, it doesn’t happen very often, maybe three times a month. It’s a temporary nuisance when it does happen. So I just suck it up and mutter under my breath. Joy is a challenge to come by, and they found it, even it’s just for the length of this track.
Oh, now they’re singing the next song on the playlist? Goddammit!