With no book, no headphones, and having learned long ago to sleep anywhere, she fades in and out at each stop…checking with one eye to see the latest pair of shoes to hop on. Silently taking it all in as she feigns indifference and displeasure, she inwardly rejoices at this life. Her attention turns to others.

There’s a mother-daughter pair, headed somewhere special…an excitement building between them as the train barrels northward. The mother-son tourists scrutinize a paper map — yes, they’ll get off at Grand Central. Mr. Blue Shoes/White Laces is just happy to be in out of the pouring rain when he sees a friend — have you seen the exhibit? Yes, yes. They were just finishing it up when he left. It’s going to be exciting. And we can’t forget the 20-something, using her phone as a looking glass before punching colorful dots on a screen to pass the time.

It’s no bother without the headphones, really. There’s always someone willing to lend a listen…in this case, from three seats down. So kind of him to share…even if it’s not what he’s after.