Last week, as my train pulled into Penn Station and hundreds of disgruntled and cold commuters got up to sit in offices for the next eight hours, I noticed a lady sound asleep in her seat, leaning agains the window.
Nobody gave her a second look.
They always make an announcement as the train pulls in that we're all to exit as quickly as possible because the train is on the way to Sunnyside to get cleaned-up for the afternoon rush hour.
(I really don't notice those trains looking much cleaner in the afternoon, but apparently, they DO get cleaned.)
Okay, I have some major issues when it comes to sleeping. I am just not good at it, and, most nights, can't do it. However, on my train up to the city in the mornings, I notice many people conked-out like there is no tomorrow. (Men in particular.) I really would I could sleep HALF as well in my bed at night as these people manage to on the New Jersey Transit.
I leaned towards this woman, shook her shoulder gently and said, "Excuse me. We're here..."
(I really didn't know what else to say.)
She jumped-up, startled, and then we all went on our way. (To sit in offices for eight hours.)
On Monday morning, the same lady came-up to me and said, "You woke me up when I was asleep on the train last week...and I just wanted to say thank you. That was so nice of you."
I told her that I would want somebody to do the same for me.
(Even though I will obviously never have that problem, given my track record with sleeping.)
The fact that this woman bothered to thank me almost a week after I woke her up to thank me truly made my day.
A couple of months ago, I lost my job and was comforted by a really nice lady in the elevator who I had never really spoken to before that day. After that, I vowed to be on the lookout for more crying people on elevators so that I could one day recipricate the amazing kindness she showed me.
I will also be on the lookout for more sleeping people on trains. And buses.