Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Too long into the night

The second fare remembered was a more typical ridiculous couple of fools. I was in the neighborhood of the slummy but tragically phony north west Chelsea when I picked up a well dressed man standing in the cold outside of a closed club and desperate for a cab. I was to drive him to east Midtown; our progress was hampered by one red light after the next.

It seemed longer than it was I’m sure, because he was on the cell phone the whole time. His volume was super high and I could hear both sides of his conversation. He was on the phone with some woman who was partying somewhere else.

“So are you gonna come over” she asked in her caring tone.

“I said I was gonna come over, but that was before I knew you were going to New Jersey. Man I can’t go back to New Jersey with you. I’m never gonna get home.”

“Ohhhh… okay.” Her coy look almost readable in her voice.

“Well It’s just that I don’t wanna hang out with those idiots.. and you know, none of them are gonna drive me back, how am I gonna get back?”

An anonymous man takes the phone beside her, “Hey, uh

Eventually it ended with him saying that she should get up early in the morning and they were gonna hang out in the morning.

“You shouldn’t party, don’t party okay? We’re gonna get up and do something tomorrow. I’m gonna wake up early tomorrow, and we’re gonna hang out.”

“Yeah, okay… so we’re gonna do something tomorrow?”

“Yeah tomorrow, I have all day open tomorrow.”

This conversation, one of many logs of a missed connection in NYC is only the beginning of a curious tale. For the fancier the suit, the slicker the hair, the more slippery the gentleman.

In his second cell phone conversation, he connects and disconnects several times with a friend who provides comic relief with his pathetic nature.

“Dude, I am in a cab man, and we’re totally gonna hang out with you.” Said his friend, juiced I’m sure on several expensive cocktails.

“Oh, hey I’m in a cab too, and I’m going home.”

“Well, where are you we’re gonna meet you.”

“I’m on 28th street and I’m heading to the east side, __ Avenue, and __ Street.”
“Man, where the fuck are you?”

This Q and A of an unintelligent variety continues for some time. By the time we get to Madison Avenue he calls again, and he’d forgotten everything.

“Where are you!?” his head was spinning in circles.

“Where are you?” my passenger calmly replies. “Are you at my house?”

“Where is your house?”

“Are- -you- -at- my- house-?” he sounded out the question slowly.

“Dude I don’t kno—hey I’m—where the fuck are you?”

“Where are you?”

“I’m over here on fucking… Dude I don’t know man, my girlfriend is giving me a really hard time, she wants to know when your gonna get here!” the man if possible has grown more hysterical than before. He sounded a little like Bobcat Goldthwait, after a panic attack induced by too much marijuana in one night. “I’m on,” he looks up at the street signs, then walks to the corner to find them, “I’m on 30th street and…” I waited in anticipation, for soon we would be on a rescue mission. He spun around to the perpendicular street sign; “10th avenue.” Oh for Christ sakes I was just there to pick this guy up.

So my passenger asked me to go back and pick him up. These two were gonna have fun tonight if it was the last thing they did. Needless to say he may have called three more times, saying how his girlfriend was impatient from the beginning and was getting more agitated. I turn around to 29th Street via Park Avenue; ignore the no turn sign checking my rear-view for cops while checking the oncoming traffic to pull the left as quick as I could. I raced west passing yellow turned red lights, sometimes later, trying my luck. Within 5 minutes we were back where we started and I turned the corner to 30th but it seemed too late. I pulled over and my passenger requested that I wait for two minutes.

I hear the ring tone behind me. Twice the phone rings, and he picks up, he is about to explode; “Dude where the fuck are you?” his voice was cracking more then a pizza-faced teen. “My girlfriend just left, she couldn’t wait anymore! She just got in a cab and left me! My girlfriend left me man!”

“Uhh man, where are you?” emphasis on the you, “we are right at 30th and tenth.” I search the corners to find a man who fits the description of a moron. There he was, right across the street. Every time he asked where we were, he spun 180 degrees. He stood in the street rather than the on the sidewalk, cell phone in his right hand and steam coming from his mouth in the cold pre-dawn glow of overhead streetlights.

I pointed him out then honked and flashed the brights from behind a stretch limo.

“We are behind the limo!” my passenger exclaimed. His comic relief buddy was still looking frantically. When the light turned green he found us and we pulled up. Then he walked away. “Get in the car!” my passenger was now amused by his friend’s idiocy. He climbed in.

“Man, my girl left me. My girlfriend just left, she just got in a cab, she couldn’t wait.”

“It’s ok I’m not with my girl either.”

“Yeah, guys out on the town! Yeah man, yeah.” Hmmm what could make him more of a moron now? “Lets go to a strip club!” He was excited, I think he found his true love, and hid it behind a shallow shroud of masculinity.

“Dude I was just at a strip club,” my original customer replied. The meter had now reached 9 bucks and all this had occurred in at most 15 minutes. I don’t think he was at a strip club, but for some reason it was the right thing to say. They joked for quite some time as I found a major street to drive east on. I wondered if I would have to take them to a strip club. The idea had came and gone.

“Do you think I could invite my girl?” asked the funny man.

“Sure, sure call her up.”

Then they decided again that it was a guy’s night out, even though the sun was to come up in two hours. They seemed to be hugging and even kissing perhaps, only on the cheeks though. In his defense, comedian two was having a pretty bad night.

Apparently my first passenger in this tandem of comedy planned it to be a guys night out from the get go. His friend was going to Iraq. The funny drunk felt sheepish. But it doesn’t piece together because earlier the first guy was talking on the phone with that girl. And it got worse; guy two wondered who was at his apartment.

“My wife is sleeping.” His wife? “Yeah but don’t worry. If she wakes up, I’ll tell her that she needs to get up early in the morning for her flight, she has a flight early in the morning.”

Fare= 15.80
Time= 32 minutes
Total paid= 20 bucks

Eh good enough
They exited from separate sides of the cab and guy two was yelling something at me. I wonder if he used to yell out of car windows when he was a drunken kid. They both told each other they were “blowing each other’s spots,” very true, very true. Their spots are blown up.

1 comment:

Eugene Salomon said...

Hello, Forman, and welcome to the unofficial taxi drivers' blogging club. Thanks for adding my two blogs to your roll. I have reiprocated.