Headphone savior

One of my favorite things is when I’m on the bus heading home and some unregulated person launches into their life story. I love that. What could be better after a long day than listening to an uninvited saga about one’s illnesses and family dysfunction? 

This, I’ve realized, is why God invented the iPod. Normally, I like to be distraction-free on my commute. As a writer, eavesdropping is my line of work. But lately, I’ve found sticking in the earbuds wards off at least some strangers. Now, I like the occasional chat with my fellow passenger (nothing insta-bonds you more than lamenting the slow-moving T). But it’s the strangers I want to avoid. Having headphones on, I can look puzzled, signing, “I can’t hear you,” and ignore the intrusion. 

In my job with students though, I’ve had to tell a couple of kids to lose the headphones when talking to me. Of course, it occurs to me now that maybe they’re employing my strategy on me…


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