The music starts before the doors close as we embark at Diego de Leon, heading for the Gran Via metro stop. The guitarist, a muscular guy in a tight back T-shirt, has a karaoke machine strapped to a wheeled cart. He's playing "My Way" with more passion than skill. His eyes close and he's really into it.
Across from me is an elderly man in an Espana ball cap. He shakes his head in disapproval. Two middle aged guys travelling with their wives each other a look that says "this shouldn't be allowed." But the guitarist plays on, oblivious. No one looks at him. But slowly, people begin to smile.
A blind man gets on the train at the next stop. The elderly man offers him his seat. He says no, he is getting off at the next stop.
The musician ends "My Way" awkwardly before beginning his second song. The middle aged couples are still smiling. The old guy looks grumpy.
The musician finishes his song and passes around his tin cup. The middle aged guys, the old man, some women, and my husband-who had had his headphones on all along-dig out some change. His cup filled, the musician bows his thanks and exits the train.
The Gran Via.
The great road we all travel.