Tuesday, August 15, 2006
I know it's inconvenient for a lot of people, but I have to say thank goodness for MTA construction. The night was pretty slow until the L train to Brooklyn shut down at midnight, and I ended up making lucrative little circles between 14th Street and Williamsburg. It helped my earnings quite a bit.
My oddest ride of the night, however, happened earlier in the night when I picked up a 20-something-year-old woman coming out of Flashdancers, the strip club on 52nd and Broadway. She was going to Park Slope to look at an apartment and her speech was slurred in a really weird way. She didn't seem drunk, just out of it, or maybe a little crazy. Or on pills, perhaps.
Anyway, she was busy on the phone for a lot of the ride. The first call sounded like total nonsense. I only caught snippets, but they were weird enough to get stuck in my mind.
She was speaking to someone named Elizabeth and she was mad at her because she wanted to go out and party tonight. She said, "I'm tired. I'm not going out. I did my deal, and I totally need liposuction. But I'm off work tomorrow." After a brief pause, she said, "You really need to move out of your dad's house. You're seventeen. I practically raised you."
When she hung up with Elizabeth, we rode into Brooklyn in silence until she got another call. After her initial hello, she slurred, "Anyway, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.... Do you know how much I love you?"
When we pulled up to her destination, she paid the fare, but then wouldn't get out of the cab because she dropped her phone somewhere in her huge purse and couldn't find it. She turned to me and said, "You're hot," and then, "Oh, my phone! My boyfriend is gonna think I'm crazy."
She sat there for a few minutes calling out to her boyfriend on the other end of the phone, saying "Hello? Hello? Hello?" and instructing him to yell really loud so she could hear him and locate the phone. After a few tries, she finally found it.
She held it up like a prize, grinning like a chimpanzee, and then shoved it through the partition at me. She looked and sounded completely insane when she tried to get me to say hi to her boyfriend.
Not wanting to be rude, I said "Hi," but I also found myself really wanting her to get out of my cab already, so I added, "Okay, well, have a good night!" But she apparently wasn't ready to go yet. She got back on the phone with her boyfriend and just sort of continued casually chatting with him while not making any motion to leave. She was laughing and still slurring as she explained to him exactly how she lost her phone in her bag but now she found it. I'm sure he was fascinated.
At this point, the meter had been off for a while and I just wanted to get her out and get on with my night, so I repeated myself two more times, getting louder and louder so she could hear me over her own conversation.
"OKAY, have a good night!"
There was no response from her as she just kept chattering along.
"O-KAY. HAVE. A. GOOD. NIGHT."
This snapped her out of it and she seemed to remember where she was. She said, "Huh? Oh, right, yeah. Thanks cab driver!" as she got out and slammed the door.
Yeah. It wasn't only her boyfriend who thought she was crazy.