I am climbing the stairs up and out of the subway, and before I even reach street level, I know: I’m lost.
There are only two subway lines in Philadelphia, and I’ve managed to get on the wrong one. There’s plenty of amusement to be found in the situation (seriously, how the hell did I even manage this?), but at the moment I feel only stress.
I look up and down Spring Garden, the street for which this subway stop gets its name. None of this looks even remotely familiar, though this feeling of being lost in a strange city is one I know all too well. I am distracted, and so when a cigarette-wielding young man asks me if I have a light, I only mumble no, and look past him for some landmark, something I will recognize.
“Hey,” he says, gesturing to my camera. “Will you take a picture of us?”
“Sure,” I say, without thinking twice.
This catches them off guard.