On the way home yesterday evening, I was listening to my walkman and reading print-outs from Baseball Prospectus on the 1 train, when, at 86th street, I heard a commotion. It was coming from my left so I pulled the left earphone away from my ear and I heard a man talking loudly, and sternly. Like many New Yorkers, Iíve grown numb to the pleas of panhandlers (and there are far fewer homeless people on the trains than there was ten, fifteen years ago). Sometimes I listen to their stories and give them some change, sometimes I donít. Iím more inclined to dig into my pockets to the musicians who make their way through the cars.
A middle-aged, dark skinned man stood in the middle of the train. He had a beard, and was missing several teeth. He wore a wool cap and a large sweater, and had a fanny back strapped to his waist. A clear, plastic bag dangled from his right hand. I only caught the tail end of what he was saying, “