I went to the diner the Monday after V-Day, which would be Valentine’s Night to some. T’was a good day I think if I recall right, but this was my first fare, and that first or second, or third can be tests of sorts. When I pull through such rides I contemplate if I could’ve done anything better, and ask myself if I could do them over, would I, the answer always is yes for the most part, as there is pretty much a deep underlying reason for why we all choose such a job.
But anyway, I’ll stick to the story; I’ll make it short, as it isn’t worth much time. Two girls and one guy get in; it is already 5 in morning if not a bit later. They had an upper-east side destination, but first I had to get girl A to St. Vincent’s Hospital. This girl’s friend managed to get so drunk that she’d found herself in the hospital, and all her friends had already visited her, all her friends except for girl A who needed to get there pronto. She got a call from her girls who changed the address to 7th Avenue and Perry where they said she was talking to the police, oh, so now it seemed even more urgent, as maybe she hadn’t gone to the hospital yet, but needed friends to help her negotiate whetever predicament she was in. I don’t recall if she showed much agitation as to how slow we were getting across town to 7th Avenue, but she was totally a dumb ass, because right when I got to 7th Avenue she asked me if we were at 7th yet, to which I acknowledged we were. But what I didn’t say was that we weren’t near Perry, rather we were at 21st Street. Most people know how to tell Chelsea apart from Greenwich Village, and a lot of people also know that when you’re on an Avenue with no traffic you can travel downtown or uptown for that matter, faster then time itself. She chose to get out there, I didn’t stop her or say anything, because I figured she was delirious enough to start arguing, and it’d be better not to travel into some drunk and police filled situation, it was a fear in the back of my mind the whole time. She instructed me to take them to their destination.
Actually they had two separate destinations, both in the Upper East Side. I was extremely pleased at the time I was making on each street making every light.
“Jeez I hope things work out alright for her,” Said the guy.
“Oh, yeah, I hope so,” The girl added indifferently.
I was so transfixed with my own narrow focus on timeliness, as well as my relief of tranquil silence throughout the Crown Victoria temple I didn’t find it peculiar that there was no conversation between the two.
But this is why I tell this story are you ready for the ridiculous quote, which warmed my head space with laughter and also slapped my moral senses a bit: She leaves the cab at a busy hub of the upper east, near midtown.
And as she goes she says, “Goodnight! It was nice to meet you!”
I guess you had to be there, because she shouted it as she was already standing outside the cab with the door in her hand. I thought she was saying it to me for a second because that is the volume at which me and passengers talk to get through the partition. She was saying goodnight to the gentlemen who must’ve been a first and a last date. She shut the door so soon after that he didn’t even have time to respond. I looked back, I chuckled, and, he was asleep! Good God he must’ve been asleep the whole time, what a buzz kill. But would it have been so bad not to wake him up and not actively pursue the rest of the cab ride as a moment for a conversation at least?
I ask myself that question of her, but of humanity, and it brought me down a bit on humanity in my internal thoughts, that some girl would be that rude, and now also this poor guy was left with the check, the cab ride. Now as this is a job for me and not some stupid dinner, I was forced to wake him up for the minimums: I had to ask him where he was going, and then upon getting there, I had to wake him up oh, say, about 3 times to remind him that he was here, we were inside a cab and I was the driver, and that he didn’t pay yet, and if he wanted to get out anytime soon he was more then welcome as we were here.
In other words/sounds:
‘Tap, Tap, Tap’ –my knuckles knocking on his side of the partition, about 4 times each one progressively louder, then-
“ We’re here sir.”
He looked dazed; waking up out of your home is so disturbing. He had that look, as if to say ‘morning already.’ He went back to sleep when he sized up the situation and realized it to a conclusion satisfactory, ‘problem solved let’s go back to sleep’ his R.E.M. cycle declared.
‘TAP, TAP, TAP, TAP, TAP’
“Sir, Second Avenue and 79th. This is you.” I made sure to look firmly at him. He looked around and found it not so familiar but was too bothered to argue. “Hey, The trip is over, we are home, this your stop, this is it, do you have (I don’t remember the amount)?”
Surprisingly he eventually found his credit card and successfully went through all the steps, well, maybe I had to prod him through the accept button or something. He got out and after a minute or two, he regained his where bouts and proceeded to his home. I have to admit in my confusion I did pass his corner by a block and then turned around and came back, so I arrived from the east rather then the west. I think I was counting on using Lexington Avenue as a notable street to start counting each block out, but since I came from 3rd Avenue my counting was off by a block. I spent so much time worrying about if he’d wake up I threw myself off a bit.