Wednesday, May 09, 2007

One block

Sometimes crossing the Brooklyn Bridge isn't all that bad.

There are many ways to get through the long 12-hour shift. Reading a book while stopped in traffic is only one of them.

Tonight was pretty good overall. I mean, it wasn't perfect. I did indeed get my window punched by some stupid angry road raging bitch in Williamsburg (because I wouldn't let her cut me off, mind you), but that's so annoyingly typical, it barely merits mention at this point.

Otherwise, business was steady and people were in good spirits. My favorite fare of the night originated in the theater district. A somewhat elderly couple flagged me down in the middle of 45th Street just as the area began spilling over with the post-theater crowd. They instructed me to go to 79th and Lex and then began an animated conversation with each other about how much they hated the play they'd just seen.

He said, "Well, I didn't think the acting was too bad."

She disputed this. "It was dismal! How could it be any good when they had such terrible material to work with?"

They carried on trashing the play the whole ride uptown and then, as we crossed east on 79th, they told me they were actually going to make two stops. The man would be getting out at Park Avenue and the lady would get out a block away at Lexington. No problem.

When the man closed the cab door behind him, the lady addressed me and said, "Oh goodie, this way he makes sure I get to pay."

I responded with something vague yet polite like, "That's not so nice of him."

She said, "No, actually it's okay. We used to be married and we see each other practically every night so we just switch off paying."

I asked the obvious: "You see each other every night but you're not married anymore?"

"Yeah," she said, "after 42 years, we realized that we get along much better when we live apart." I guess they only needed one city block to make their relationship work.

She continued, "Our kids think we're bizarre." I agreed with her kids and then, as her doorman approached to let her out of the cab, I said, "Just out of curiousity, what play did you guys see tonight?"

"'Deuce.' The one about tennis. It was lousy!" And with that, she got out and the doorman closed the door behind her.