A commuter train. Three men coming home from work. Mid-forties. White. Professional. Hip. Expensive rain jackets on top of crisp dry-cleaned shirts.
"How you holding up?"
"Oh, I had so much coffee, I'll have to drug myself again to go to sleep."
"What do you take?"
"Oh, I don't remember what it's called. I'll bring it for you."
"Yes, please. I'd like to try it."
"It's very mild. Even if you wake up an hour later, you still feel fine."
"Have you tried this other one? It's all natural. Melatonin, I think?"
"Ah yeah. It doesn't work on me. Kathryn takes it."
As I heard this, something shrunk in me. I imagined this couple in bed.
"Oh, it's all natural, you say? I need to experiment with that. I tried one of those, ends on -zepam."
For the next ten minutes they talk about various sleeping drugs and their benefits. Then they switch to talk about new hires, discussing them like cogs in a big machine. Then to negotiating their contacts. At the next station I had to get off. Good. I couldn't listen anymore.