The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez:
Last night, in the Union Square station, a man was playing “La Vie en Rose” on a flute, molto giocoso. Lately I’ve become vulnerable to earworms, and sure enough the song, in the flutist’s peppy rendition, has been pestering me all day. They say the way to get rid of an earworm is to listen a couple of times to the whole song trhough. I listened to the most famous version, by Edith Piaf, of course, who wrote the lyrics and first performed the song in 1945. Now it’s the Little Sparrow’s strange, bleating, soul-of-France voice that won’t stop.
Also in the Union Square station, a man with a sign: Homeless Toothless Diabethee. That’s a good one, a commuter said as he tossed change into the man’s paper cup.