I'm under the Hudson river and reading a book that has me on the brink of tears most of the time. I am about to start a new chapter, titled Crash, when a single voice in the car raises up the first strains of Stand By Me. I think it's just someone singing along with headphones, but after the verse ends, the rest of the quartet joins in, and the song swells. It has mass, or volume, or weight. It gets so big it feels like the car we're in will burst. The man singing has a rough, mottled voice, full of velvety love, and of course, pain. It's all my power not to start sobbing. Halfway through, the train stops hard, sending all of us flying around the car, but the song just keeps on.
After that they sang Under the Boardwalk, which I don't really like, and then something else I can't remember. I thought about asking them to sing Just One Look, but they left the car. I played Ben E King on my headphones my whole walk to work, tears streaming. The sidewalk is where I cry the most these days.