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No. 54 - Heard inside the Q Train - "You have a great voice, but you're too loud!"

September 17th, 2019


This evening I took the Q from Atlantic Avenue Barclay's Center in Brooklyn Toward Lexington Avenue - Sixty-third Street. Around Canal Street, an older gentleman in a fading lime green t-shirt, ripped black jeans, and flip-flops that were barely hanging on stood near a doorway toward the middle of our car. Moments after the door closed, he switched on a radio that he had hung around his neck, which was resting in front of his chest.


Italian music, very old Italian music, played from his radio, and filled the subway car. He said a few words that I had trouble deciphering; began singing ––– really belting it out –––– then proceeded to walk up and down our subway car.


At Fourteenth Street, a woman who may have been in her mid-seventies boarded the train and sat beside me. Right away she cupped her hands over her ears, looked over at me for moral support, then said to herself: "He's too loud." Our friend's first number ended, and as we were nearing Thirty-Fourth Street, he began his second act.


As the train pulled away from Thirty-Fourth Street, we were gifted one more song; and this time, it would be up close and personal. Mr. Baritone switched the song over one last time, then proceeded to head toward our end of the car.


Still, with her hands cupped around and over her ears, the woman changed her stance, and sat up straight, removing her hands and looking up and over at the man who was singing. Without hesitation and with great enthusiasm she explained: "You have a great voice, but you're too loud!"


He kept singing, then moved on.


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