I noticed him from across the train—noticed the almost-rhythmic nodding of his head, the movement of his shoulders. His back was to me, but I still felt weird about staring. The train was quiet and not very crowded. I could hear the tinny sound of music from the iPod of the young man standing next to me. I kept glancing toward the front of the car, trying to decide if the movements of the man with close-cut grey hair were my imagination. Sometimes he seemed to be dancing, but other times I suspected it was only the swaying of the train.
I spotted him again when I stepped out of the train at Foggy Bottom. He was coming out of the next door down, wearing a wool overcoat open over a charcoal suite and a burgundy tie, with white ear phone cords coming from his coat pocket and a briefcase in his hand. Even though I’d only seen his back on the train, I knew it was him, because he was lip-synching. I bit my lip, trying not to smile. Then, just before we reached the escalator, he began to play his briefcase like an air guitar. I told myself not to stare, but kept right on staring.
He caught me looking. He smiled at me, threw back his head, and played the next few silent chords with even more passion.