Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 5th, Saturday

I’ve been a bad blogger, distracted by cable television and hindered by sleep, an overheated apartment, and work. I need to a lot a timeslot in each day specifically for the blog. These are the noteworthy rides of the first weekend of December. While most shifts of mine are pretty mundane, I had a few rides on this weekend that stick to my memory. One trip in particular in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday will be vaguely burned in my memory forever probably. Sunday's story is still unwritten, hopefully I'll get that posted tonight or tomorrow morning.

Saturday was good, just the usual, but my first two riders were interesting because their occupations weren’t your typical nine to five positions. I pass the potential customer as she walks out of the more conventional diner. I hold an eye contact, but then she pulls out a cigarette, so I keep rolling to the end of the block to wait by the other diner. This is my usual spot, and while I may wait for up to 30 minutes, when the people come out, they usually all take taxis, splitting up in groups of twos and threes. They all splurge for the cab rides because they need to keep an impression going with their groups that they are classy enough to spend the money on a taxicab. However this was one of those moments where a group walked right around my perfectly parked taxi to get into another one stopped on the street. Just when I thought I’d have to wait for 30 minutes or so, the first potential customer I saw walks nonchalantly to my cab. I see her in my rear-view mirror, and she is so astute that she knows I am watching in the rear-view. She holds up a hand in acknowledgement without picking up the pace and drops the cigarette, I flip the gear shift into reverse only to confirm my acknowledgement so that my back-up lights will pop-on, then I flip it back to drive. She settles in.

“How are you doing tonight?” She asks. She requests to go to a place in alphabet city that has been without gentrification for the last 50 years or more. I knew I was taking a real New Yorker, or at least someone with a hard New York sense. I figured her for a waitress or a cook, or a dishwasher, or a manager, but she told me she was in the club promoting industry. We talked about colleges for a bit, she was thinking of going back to school. We already developed a good rapport, she figured out I was a born New Yorker. She didn’t know that I had friends who grew up right there too, so I knew the area somewhat well.

“You seem like a cool guy,” She said, “So I’ll tell you what I really do. I’m a dominatrix. You know what a dominatrix is?”

I pause and keep my expression to it’s ultimate New York poker face, “Yeah.” As if to say, and so, what else you got?

“I know that a lot of times we need photographers and they make 200 dollars a shoot. So I’m just saying that might be a direction you could consider,” She says.

My eyes light up, and I think that I’ve maybe finally got an opportunity for easy money, but my low self-esteem kicks in, as it always does whenever I see an opportunity that I don’t know everything about. I say, “I dunno, do you think my personality would work in that situation. I am not sure if I’d be able to fit in?”

She doesn’t answer; this is one of those things that I’m going to have to answer myself, but I have a problem jumping in to a pool when I don’t know how deep it goes. I can’t make promises before I know where I’m headed. But another interesting thing is that I know a good friend who did shots in the dominatrix clubs many years back and it was a very good portfolio, maybe something like this could get me in the door of photographic opportunity if I’d ever get up the nerve. It’d at least be a respectable portfolio that both the client and the photographer would be satisfied with, which is more than I can say for other photo jobs out there.

Ride 2- comes along quick; Avenue C was empty, but I was already back in the more popular section of alphabet land only 2 blocks from dropping off the dominatrix. There is a woman standing in standard ‘strike a pose’ cab hailer’s stance. She sees me on the other side of the Avenue and gets in. Her accent sounded Russian and we had to go to an address of a luxury building in Hell’s kitchen first to then receive another address for her to be at. I was ashamed of myself for taking such a lousy route their, though I tried as best I could to make it work. She never complained, not once, and we waited for several minutes for the person to give her the sheet to assign her where her next address would be. It was like an underground pizza delivery, only I was pretty sure she was the pizza. The assignment came complete with credit card numbers to use and number’s to contact etcetera, it was a very organized operation, much more so than the cab industry it seemed. We then preceded further uptown. These were two of the best fares I’ve ever received at such an hour. Imagine having two completely sober people with a clear understanding of our tasks. All three industries rely on a healthy interaction with individuals whom we don’t even know. Both fares tipped very well, and the second one was a great ride as it had two stops, and went a fare distance to the north.

I for some reason feel to overwhelmed with content to give a description of Sunday the justice it deserves. I wrote about Saturday last week, and had been saving it until I wrote about all three days to post the complete weekend in one posting, but it’s taking too long so Sunday will continue at the next post, hopefully by tonight, or tomorrow morning I’ll write it out. Each day probably deserves to be a separate post anyway--


Goggla said...

Very cool. I can only imagine the variety of people you encounter in a day.

Anonymous said...

still waiting to hear those stories....

Cary said...

"It was like an underground pizza delivery, only I was pretty sure she was the pizza." Nice blog, will come back regularly.