I spent a week in December visiting my friends in New York. I was happy to see them, but my first two days in town were so painfully cold that I was comforted to know that I would be leaving soon.
Walking down 2nd Ave in the cheek-burning weather, I winced into the street to see a tow truck zipping past with a yellow, checkered taxi SUV attached to it. The hood of the cab had been crumpled in a U-shape, giving a sense of how fast it had been going and raising a question of where the front-right tire went.
For all the death-defying experiences I've had in cabs, I only once considered that they could crash. It was at the height of my New York-based anxiety, right before I moved to Los Angeles. I hailed the first taxi that I believed would accept credit cards, and asked the driver to take me from midtown to Houston.
As he pulled away from the curb, he instantly began driving as if he was stuck in cruise control at 60mph, and that to slow down would bring us a Sandra Bullock-related death. He instantly began making road enemies, with a strong desire to spite them at every opportunity. There was an older, gray Toyota that had somehow angered the cab driver, so he began tail-gaiting it and honking at it and attempting to somehow cut it off from behind. I was leaning back in my seat and my right hand was clutching the armrest - a part of cars I hardly ever note.
"Forget about it," I stated out loud. "He's not worth it."
I don't know if the cab driver heard me or thought I was on the phone, but he seemed to relax a bit after that.
Yesterday I hailed a cab outside of Jenny's apartment and we both got in it. I had two large bags, as I was on my way to JFK, and she had one large bag, and she was headed toward a portfolio-building fashion shoot. I ordered to be dropped off at Grand Central, where I could pick up a bus to JFK for $13, after which Jenny would continue on with the driver to Brooklyn. The cab stopped because of a red light at a three-way intersection, and as the cab stood perpendicular to Grand Central, I decided it was time to pay my portion of the fare and jump out.
I stood outside of the taxi with the door open, one of my bags leaning against my leg as I pulled my other bag out of the back seat. The light turned green at that moment, and the driver of the car behind the cab immediately pounded her elbow into her horn. I closed the car door and stepped back and the cab wasn't even next to drive because of the early-morning congestion and the woman didn't stop holding her horn down. Her noise pollution was so offensive that I did the thing I always do when I'm in New York, which is hold up my middle finger and then yell, "Do you see this? Do you see this?"
I picked up my two bags and trudged to the sidewalk, and then an ugly voice based in the worst area of New Jersey replied, "Fuck you, ya bitch! Get the fuck out of here!" I think it was then followed by a spitting noise, but I may have imagined that.
Stupidly, she drove her car a few feet and hung a left into heavy traffic and then became stuck in the crosswalk that I needed to use to walk to Grand Central. It was as though God Himself delivered the chance for me to stand close to her car window and employ the hand motion and facial expression-equivalents to chanting, "Ooga Booga, Ooga Booga," near her face. In turn, I won the fight.
Horoscope for Virgo:
Temporarily stop shaving your body hair. You need all the warmth you can get.