The Coffee Incident

As is now documented, I fall asleep on the bus on my way home from work. Today’s story is not about me sleeping, though.  It is about one of my fellow passengers who displayed some fantastic skills.

First some background is necessary.

When I lived in Japan, I was always amazed at the people who could fall asleep the minute the train doors closed.  If they weren’t asleep, they did a fantastic job of faking it, all without the aid of a walkman (if you don’t remember them, they were the precursor to today’s MP3 players).  I even saw one guy who could fall asleep while standing up.


I do not have such skills. Usually, I start to feel drowsy while I am reading or doing a logic puzzle.  I jam my fingers into the book, hoping the pressure of it will either keep me awake, or ….. now I am not sure why I do that.  Whatever the reason, it doesn’t work the way I want it to.  Often the book either falls on me or falls on the floor, or falls on the less than happy passenger next to me.

What’s all of that got to do with today’s sleepy commuter? Good question.

While reading my novel, I often stop to take stock of who is sitting around me. Today, across from me, sitting somewhat higher in elevation due to bus seat configuration, was a young man clad in all black attire holding onto a coffee cup.  I could see that he was nodding off and I had visions of his coffee spilling all over me.  While this vision is particularly horrible, it is only doubly so because I was wearing my new totem pole t-shirt.  Having forked out a pretty decent sum for this one, and really liking the design, the last thing I wanted to do was see it covered in coffee.

coffee spill

I considered my course of action. I wondered if I should wake him up and offer to hold his coffee cup.  I wondered if I should change my seat.  I also wondered why anyone would hold a coffee cup when they knew they were most likely going to nod off–then I remembered my terrible book habit and returned to my previous wondering.

As I warrily watched him start to sleep and then jolt awake, and warily watched his hand seem to lose grip on the cup, I became amazed. Several times, I expected the coffee cup to fall.  He had such a precarious grip on it.  The thing is, he dozed off, completely asleep, but he woke up every time and managed to maintain his grip on the coffee cup.  This happened at least two dozen times, but the coffee never spilled.


When I got home, I started to wonder if there was any coffee in the cup at all. However, either way, he never dropped the cup.

As I said, unbelievable.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, clothes, coffee, commuting, Japan, sleep, unbelievable, unexplainable and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Coffee Incident

  1. I have to admit I’m one of those sleepy commuters and i’ve almost given myself whiplash nodding my head forwards and backwards 😕 and I’ve actually seen someone drop a cup of coffee on the train they might as well have been asleep lol

  2. Celia says:

    I’m also someone who dozes on public transport. I remember nodding off and hitting my head on a pole in the train once, which woke me (as well as everyone else) up pretty quickly. Remarkably I’ve only missed my stop once or twice from falling asleep.

  3. Pingback: The Curious Case of the Two-Fisted Drinker | Today's Perfect Moment

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