To Wake or Not to Wake


I was on the subway heading downtown when I noticed a young man sitting in front of me. He was fast asleep, dressed head to toe in Nike, with Beats playing. An older Guyanese lady got on at Dufferin and sat beside him. She immediately started to shake him awake. He opened his eyes, startled and she said “I just want to make sure you didn’t sleep through your stop, let me know which one and I’ll keep an eye out for you”. He pointed to the sign and shared his stop. I was mesmerized. Many times I’ve been on the TTC and noticed someone sleeping and wondered if they should be awake. I’ve arrived at a final stop on the line and stood for a few moments feeling like maybe it’s the right thing to do to wake the person but fear holds me back. What if they are homeless and just plan to ride the train that day. This woman was bold and brazen and I loved it. I was watching the young man. He removed his head phones off of one ear so he could listen to her. They talked for quite a while and he sat poised, dying to put his music back on but not wanting to disrespect her. After a 15 minute respectful conversation between the two, I decided they deserved a TTC Tale. They rocked human connection!