I exit the 6 train subway station at the corner of Spring Street and Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan, and light my cigarette while I wait for a friend. Around the corner is a Subway restaurant (Restaurant? Really?), but they don’t seem content to let New Yorkers figure that out for themselves.
“Subway!!! Eat fresh at Subway!!! Suuuuubbbbwwaaaaaayyyyy!!!” A man a few days overdue for a shave, wearing sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt, shouts to anyone in range, as he holds aloft a green and yellow Subway sign with an arrow pointing directly to the open doorway behind him.
Impossibly, the Subway barker keeps getting louder while I’m standing there, only a few feet away. He pauses for a moment to take a cigarette out of his pocket, but finds himself without a light. So I take a few stpes towards him to offer my lighter, at which point this overweight, crazy-eyed, whiskered man with drool and spit on his chin — probably from so much constant shouting — stops his rant, looks directly at me, and screams even louder than before:
“I would never eat more than one banana in my entire life!”
I stub out my cigarette, and I think maybe I should go wait for my friend somewhere else. He can call me if he gets lost.