Going to a friend’s place in Brooklyn; it’s early evening but the streets are relatively empty. Coming towards me on the sidewalk is an older man, bearded, on crutches. He doesn’t look raggedy homeless, he’s decently dressed. I’ve got my 75 cent cup of deli coffee in hand and have just lit up an American Spirit. We’re about parallel on the sidewalk when I can feel him appraising me. “Coffee and a cigarette. Who’s better than you?” he barks. I hesitate, then stammer “uh, nobody I guess? Nobody’s better than me?” before carrying on. What is the appropriate response to that statement?