Valentine’s Day 2017. The morning commute was very low key, no smiles, no bouquets of red roses, no sense of romance. The Valentine evening commute, however, showed a bit more promise.

There was a petite woman trying to balance roses and a giant overstuffed Teddy Bear on the train platform. The train arrived, the doors opened. The commuters inside the train exchanged places with the commuters outside the train. I told the woman holding the giant teddy bear and flowers she could make a fortune working as a Valentine’s Day reminder aka relationship peacekeeper for those forgetful partners who habitually forgot the Day of Romance.

The train continued on, the doors opened and closed, people boarded and exited. Then it happened. The doors opened and suddenly the train car was alive with the voice of…BARRY WHITE.

A man filled with the spirit of a Cupid Gone Wild glided into the train car; his cell phone turned orchestra seducing us with BARRY WHITE’S GREATEST HITS. This mysterious stranger transformed our blah train car into a club car. CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE, BABE. NEVER, NEVER GONNA GIVE YA UP.

Not content to stand still, our host started to sway to the music. Then he began his journey down the aisle. In the tradition of music greats, he identified audience members to serenade. He found a quiet couple too shy to hold hands. He used Barry’s music and moves to promote romance. He encouraged them “Don’t be shy. Young love!” They were motionless, heads lowered. Our host, confident in his Cupid powers, returned to center stage.

A few minutes later, the train stopped, the doors opened. One member of the couple, the woman, got up. I heard she raised her hand to reveal a wedding ring to all, before exiting the train. Alone.

Our host looked puzzled then embarrassed. He realized they were never shy, star crossed lovers. Just strangers sitting next to each other on the train. We all laughed

Two stops later our host exited the train, but the train was still alive with the magic of a romantic stranger and the music of BARRY WHITE.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.