Inside a full Chicago Red Line Train, Early Summer, Morning Rush Hour Commute
On a packed early morning train ride, a man is uncomfortably coughing into his sleeve. He tries in vain to snuff the cough, but it will not relent. The passenger next to him fiddles with his bag, producing that familiar plastic water bottle crunching sounds as he rifles through his possessions. Thinking that this man is going to help out the poor sufferer, the passengers visibly relax and get comfortable in their seats. The man pulls out an almost full water bottle, so cold that the plastic is no longer clear, it has developed an icy opaque hue dripping with condensation. He unscrews the cap, lets the open bottle hang in the air with no determined direction for a long pause, then brings it to his own lips to take a very petty swallow before he re-screws the lid and stuffs it back in his own bag. The heart of the coughing man breaks as he swallows dry saliva in an unsuccessful attempt to suppress the coughing fit.