Young men, released at the end of the school day, spill out onto the street and roar down the sidewalk, their pent-up energy leaving a wake of noise and chaos behind them that you can almost see, and that you can definitely hear.
These two, for example: laughing too loud, jostling side-by-side in front of me, hip-hop shouting from the bluetooth speaker in the one guy's backpack.
I've had too many encounters on the subway with kids like these playing their music out loud, and my blood pressure is up as the three of us head toward the train station while I play through scenarios in my head confronting them ("Nobody likes your shitty music," or "Forget your headphones at home?"), knowing I'll probably just end up saying nothing and moving to a different car.
But as soon as they get to the stairs going underground, he cuts the volume on his music and the two of them descend to the platform opposite mine in silence, leaving me to ride into Manhattan unmolested, aurally, wondering at my hostility, where it came from, what it means.
One year ago: Samhain Ninjas
Three years ago: Halloween
Four years ago: The D Train Is Bat Country
Five years ago: 10/31/11