Return of the Cabbie

Early this morning, at minutes to 2 a.m., I was trudging up the stairs at Kennedy Station towards the taxi stand.

I’d had a great night, and so far a great weekend.

I also had $27 in my wallet and was hoping I’d get an understanding taxi driver. As I neared the front of the line, toward a mini-van taxi, I suddenly thought to myself, I really hope I don’t end up taking a ride from that taxi driver I ran into a few months back.

I approached the van, slid the door open and, as I sat down, came (almost) face to face with …

The Pick-Up Cab. (This is the point at which you click on the link to refresh your memory.)

Motherfucker, I thought.

“Hi,” is what I actually said. “How are you?”

“Fine,” said Mr. Pick-Up Cab.

I gave him the intersection where I wanted to go, and almost simultaneously, he said, “Yeah, I think I’ve driven you home before.”

Aw sheeit, I cursed silently.

“Oh, really? Yeah, probably … you kind of look familiar,” I said, none too convincingly.

As we drove home, he asked me about where I was coming from, where I worked (again), what I did, and asked whether I was just coming from work (although I’d JUST said I was coming from downtown from a social function.

He kept the conversation about work (except for the two seconds that he asked whether I’d always had braids), pretty much up until he pulled onto my driveway.

And as soon as I’d settled up my cab fare, he said, “Nice to see you again … even though you never called me.”

And then he turned and looked right at me.

Play me off, Keyboard Cat.

The Pick-Up Cab

“Hello, how are you?” I asked hoarsely, as I wearily lumbered inside the minivan-taxi early Friday morning.

“Good, how are you?” the driver asked in return.

“You know,” he added a moment later, “Nobody ever asks me that.”

“Well,” I replied, “They SHOULD.”

I quickly found out why “they” don’t.

Within two minutes of pulling out of the subway station’s taxi stand, and turning onto the main road, this guy disclosed that he was looking for “a mature woman, yeah …”

And was likely eyeing me in his rearview mirror while I looked out the windshield, oblivious. 

But his random statement said it all.

You have GOT to be kidding me, I thought. I had a horrible cold, was losing my voice, and all I wanted to do was get home and sleep. This guy decided that 2 a.m. in the morning was a good time to make a love connection?

He then proceeded to pepper me with questions. Which I wouldn’t normally mind, except that given his previous statement, these were likely part of the impromptu interview for the position of Mature Woman.

Where do I work? What do I do? When’s my birthday? Where did I go to school? (Oh, yeah? Him, too!) What years did I go there? What kind of music do I like? What kind of movies? Oh, not action so much? So, I like to read, then? 

And as we pulled into my area, he mentioned he’d like to hang out with me and asked me for my number. So I said something along the lines of “I don’t think so.” 

“Okay, so I’ll give you mine instead,” he said. Which was fine by me, ’cause this would make disposal of it very easy.

Of course, my cell had fallen out of my bag onto the seat, so I spent a couple moments fumbling around in the dark for it. And, of course, Mr Taxi Driver decided to take a second shot at getting my number, to which I said, “um, no, that’s okay.”

Luckily I found it – went through the motion of programming it into my phone.  

By the time the van pulled into the driveway (which could not have come fast enough), he’d given me his number and his name, and I’d given him my fake name.

I also noticed, as I paid for the ride, he hadn’t even bothered to turn the meter 0n.

As I said good night, I didn’t escape without one last question:

“How tall are you?”

I cursed my living situation for the umpteenth time as I made my way up the steps and into the house, slamming the door.