After a stint of severe food poisoning--for which, in hindsight, I should have been hospitalized, seeing as I fainted onto my bathroom floor from exhaustion with no one in the vicinity to catch me or hear the mild thud of head-to-tile--I decided to take a cab all the way home from my work on the Upper West Side to my apartment in Brooklyn since an hour and a half on 3 different trains seemed near impossible to stomach (pun intended). A very attractive young man slammed on his brakes to pick up my sorry self as I wandered from behind a bush at the rare flicker of a vacancy light. I gave him my directions and he asked me very sweetly to buckle my seatbelt, explaining how dangerous other cab drivers could be at this time of night. Bemused and a little touched (and having just rented a car last week and driven around the city for a stressful two hours), I nodded knowingly, clicked in, and zoned out.
About 15 minutes into the drive he asked if I was asleep, and as I replied with a negative grunt he began to explain in broken English the 'Extra Money For Unconscious Passengers'. My fuzzy brain could not connect the bemused tone until a flash of perfect teeth caught my eye in the rear-view mirror. I wasn't sure if this man was charming or if it was just his really bright grin? My vision is really blurred, is he even attractive? Am I that shallow that I'm asking myself that question right now? Leave it alone. Where's my phone? It's almost 3. Wow I'm tired. Time for bed. Good thing I did laundry today. I didn't pick up my laundry today. I have no sheets until tomorrow. !@#$%. Which means also no towels. Which means I can't shower either. I'm covered in beer. And ketchup. Who invented ketchup? I hate them. "OOooooOOoo shit left here!!"
As we pulled up in front of my building, I fumbled for cash with the usual thankyouhaveagoodnightnochangethanksbye. My attractive foreign stranger replied with "Why Pretty home?"
me: "Oh...uh...well I just got off work I'm very tired".
he: "Come, We Dance!"
me: (eyes half open) "Wow-er-well-mumble thank you but I've been sick and I just need to sleep but thank you..mumble...sleep...my bed...need...thanks"
he: "How Beautiful Sick? Not Happens For Too Beautiful To Sick"
me: (gets out of car) "Well thank you!" (trips) "!@#$%" (gets tangled in purse, drops phone, slams door harder than intended) "Uhh haveagoodnight sir".
Smiling, he drives away, windows down and jazz gently leaking into the cool night air. As I turn to drag myself across the street I hear a slight creak as the brake lights turn the cars in front of me a warmer shade. I turn.
"I love you" he states from across the street, and, flashing those pearly whites one last time, he drives off into the night.
The elevator seems to be stuck on the 7th floor...again...so I trudge up the five flights of stairs to my apartment. Standing on the stoop panting I catch a glimpse of my beer-soaked leggings in the fluorescent lights, and as I reach into the pocket where my keys should be only one thought comes to mind....
Well maybe two. The first, "My roommates are going to stab me with a butter knife when I wake them up to let me in right now."
The second, "But at least someone out there loves me."
Moral of my story: Don't leave your keys in your locker at work, even if you're so beyond the point of exhaustion you can't really see very well or walk in a straight line. And also: talk to your cabbies, you never know when they might brighten your day/night/reallyearlymorning.