March 13, 1:13 a.m.
N Train – Canal St. to Union St.
A young girl, maybe 24, possibly older, has a tired friend draped on her right shoulder. Down the train a couple leans in. She’s on her iPhone, he’s on his Blackberry. Another pair boards at DeKalb, both bearing reading material. She has a copy of Time, he has a book on clean energy sources. They quickly turn backs to each other and read, to her chagrin.
I meet eyes with the first girl, the one serving as a pillow for her friend. She breaks out in a knowing smile, and so do I. It’s the most human connection I’ve ever felt on a subway. She goes back, not terribly quickly, to listening to her iPod. It’s only when she leaves at Union without the other woman, who jerks awake, that I realize they’ve never met.