How I Met an Alien on the Subway (and Lived to Tell the Tale)

The alien I met didn't quite look like this
Strange things tend to happen between the hours of 2 AM and 5 AM in the New York subway. Returning from a friend's birthday in Brooklyn last night, I was uneventfully listening to some music until a scruffy, old alto saxophonist stomped onto the train.

"Greetings!" he declared. "My name is _____-man and I am an alien from outer space." Uh-oh.

Aside from a metallic rod taped onto baseball cap he was wearing, the fellow seemed pretty normal: he wore black converses, black jeans, and a rainbow tie-dyed tank top bearing the name of some rock band or music festival. But, then he started to play.
Here are some of the cosmic sounds he proffered; I'd say that to most of the passengers on the train, he probably did sound like an alien:

The above in twelve keys, which incited the guy sitting next to me to yell, "Fuck you, man!" I heard some false fingering, too:
He just kept going and going, and he was loud: dude had his cheeks maximally puffed out and was playing into the mouthpiece with his neck cocked at a strange angle (not quite like David Sanborn—maybe like an alien Sanborn). I also heard lots of screeching altissimo, lots.

He had gotten on at Bedford Ave. and the distance between stops was especially long — I could see the other passengers glancing around nervously (does this guy really want my money?). When we got to 1st Ave., though, it seemed he just wanted an audience. 

"This is my last stop!" he announced, taking a quick bow and stomping right on out to the platform. A universal sigh of relief. People looked around, making eye contact and shaking heads. What a nut.

"Just kidding!" the alien yells, leaping through the other car door. The Hispanic guys sitting across from me just start laughing, and the alien starts wailing away. Everybody starts laughing—it's just too much. This alien might be from outer space, but he's got a human's sense of humor.

* * * * *

I left at the next stop (that was my stop), but the last thing I saw was the alien giving a lady the "come-hither" finger gesture, followed by a salacious rendering of "The Girl from Ipanema." What a night.


  1. Sun Ra reincarnated, and with a fresh sense of humor too!


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