Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I had a good night.
I realized just now, as I wrote those words, that I don't think I've ever written them before. If so, I certainly don't remember it.
But tonight was great, actually. I had perfect luck and a stable mindset throughout the whole shift. And the biggest shocker? Traffic didn't totally suck.
All night long, each good ride led to the next. It started out early, when I got over the bridge and someone took me to Union Square. From there, I picked up a woman who wanted to go way up to 125th and Amsterdam. I overheard from her cell phone conversation that she'd been going on auditions all day. We made it up to her building in record time.
As I passed Columbia on my way back downtown, I got flagged by a very pregnant, thirty-something lady dressed in hospital scrubs and a stethoscope. She had a phone to her ear and, when she got in, said, "59th and Amsterdam." But then a second later, she said, "Actually 59th and 3rd." And then another second later, "Let's make that 59th and Lex."
Finally she hung up the phone and said, "I'm sorry. My husband was barking orders at me on the phone."
We didn't talk for the rest of the ride.
Downtown, a very young, probably late teen or early twenty-something blonde girl got in. She had one of those blue boots on one foot, the kind you wear on a broken part of your body instead of a cast. On our way over to 5th Avenue and 10th Street, I got to listen in to her end of a phone conversation. It went something like this:
"Yes, he was coming to propose .... Are you still at Burberry? .... Oh, for your therapist? .... Fun times, Fun times."
Then she launched into a whole tirade about how her friend Aaron got into an argument with the promoters at the club Marquee and how he had to be kept separate from Jordan. It was just starting to get juicy when I dropped her off. Sadly, I'll never know what finally happened with them. Damn.
Moving on, I took some girls from the Upper East Side to dinner in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. As we got close to the restaurant, one of them said to the other, "Oh wow, there actually are nice parts of Brooklyn."
On my way back from that, as I was approaching the Brooklyn Bridge, Diego called and said, "Laguardia's stripped," meaning the airport was empty of cabs. He went on, "All these flights were canceled, so tons of people are dying for cabs. Someone actually offered me $800 to take them to Toronto! Can you believe that?"
Apparently the intense heat and haze had caused problems with visibility or something and it grounded most of the planes in the New York area, so the airport was lucrative chaos.
I said, "Don't tell me you're on your way to Toronto right now."
"Hell no! You kidding me? That's a two-thousand dollar job. No, I got someone to midtown and then I'm racing right back. You should go."
I hopped on the BQE and sped over there. It was still stripped and I got someone going back to the city. He was coming from Atlanta and had been sitting in his plane on the runway for four hours before they finally took off for their hour-and-a-half flight. I remarked on his mood, saying, "You seem pretty happy for someone who just sat on a plane for that long."
He replied, "I've had a few drinks."
Later on, I ended up getting extra lucky when I got a job to Edison, New Jersey. It's always good money when you take someone out of town. The guy was from California and got screwed over on his hotel so he was staying at the Hilton out there.
When I dropped him off, I got out of the cab to help him with his bags. As he left and went inside, some fat middle-aged dude with a cane came up to me. He'd been standing outside the hotel, and as he approached me, he said, "Are you the driver?" I said "Yes," and then he looked around, leaned in real close, exhaled his cigarette smoke, and said, "I'm looking for a strip club around here."
Apparently he'd had a few drinks too. Sorry to disappoint, I told him I was a New York cab driver and couldn't help him in this area. He hobbled back to the sliding glass doors as I got back in my cab and hauled ass back to the civilized world.