Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two Faces of New York

I'm sneaking up on the tail end of what has been, to this point, a great airport shift. Not too busy, not too slow with just the right mix of long and short trips. I've also meet a lot of nice people.

I figure two or three more trips and I'll shift from the airport to downtown for the rest of the night/morning.

Me: Hello. Where can I take you tonight?

Him: Get me the f*•k out of this f@$#*ing airport! This place is a f@$#ing joke - No organization - The flight was 2 1/2 hours late and you lost my luggage. Then I have to wait in a f@$#*ing line to catch a cab!

I lost his luggage?

Me: Did you wait long for a cab?

Him: Didn't you see how many people are waiting in that f@$#*ing line?

Sure I can see how many people are in line but that doesn't tell me how long he waited in line.

Me: Yes, it has been kind of busy tonight. Where can I take you?

Him: Damn, what's with this f@$#*ing backseat? I can barely fit in here with this thing! (He bangs on the barrier)

This guy is going to be a real headache. He's maybe 5'6" and he's complaining about space?

Me: Sorry - I know. With the barrier it can be a tight squeeze. Where can I take you?

Him: I can't even get my f@*&!ing feet in here. Move it forward! (Now he's kicking the barrier)

We arn't even out of the airport and he's giving me grief.

Me: It's not adjustable. It's bolted in a fixed position. Please don't hit or kick the barrier. I can drop you back at the terminal and you can take a town car if you prefer.

Him: You think my company is going pay for a f@$#*ing limo? It's a short trip so I'll just have to put up with it. I can take it.

You can take it? That's not the real question. Can I take you? That's the real question!

Me: Where can I drop you off?

Him: The Holiday Inn, Santa Monica

Great. It is a short ride if it's the Holiday Inn in Santa Monica but not so short if it's the one on Santa Monica Blvd.

I cross my fingers.

Me: Which one? The one in the city of Santa Monica or the one on Santa Monica Blvd?

Him: Damn it. Don't you know where it is? The Holiday Inn iiinnnn Santa Monica!

I smile, it is a short trip. I quickly try to change the subject.

Me: Are you a basketball fan? The game today was....

Him: Don't say a word - don't even give me a f@$#*ing clue! I'm a huge Celtics fan. I've come all the way from New York. avoiding anyone talking about the game. I've got it on Tivo and want to enjoy it when I get home so don't say a f@$#*ing word!

What I jerk. Should I scream it, whisper it or say nothing at all?

Lakers win! Lakers win... They blow out the Celtics 89 to 67! Lakers win! Lakers win!

I drive back to the airport for one last trip. It was still busy so I didn't have to wait long.

Her: Hi. I'm going to the Hollywood Historic Hotel on Melrose Blvd. I'm sorry but I don't have the cross street.

I don't recognize that hotel but the accent is a different story.

Me: The Hollywood Historic Hotel? I'm not really familiar with that one but I can look it up on my GPS.

Her: I have the address, it's 5162 Melrose. Does that help?

I can now place the address in my mind, just as surely as I can place her accent.

I cross my fingers.

Me: Yes that helps a lot. I know exactly where it is. Where are you from?

(Please no, please no, please no)

Her: New York.

Oh No no no no no not again.

But there was a big difference between her and him. Just as quickly as the first New Yorker had ticked me off, this New Yorker had won me over!

She was great! She was a true beauty inside and out. She had this certain way about her.

I don't know if she had sensed the frustration from my previous trip or if her ingratiating ways just came naturally. She had a great smile and an infectious giggle that made my night.

We started talking about what had brought her to LA and that turned in to talking about her dream. No she doesn't want to be an actress but rather find her fame and fortune in the world of fashion.

Halfway through the trip she remarked how she's had many great conversations with New York cabbies. It's easy to see why!

As we talk she leans close to the window in the center of the barrier. Road noise makes it difficult to hear but this gesture makes me feel like she doesn't want to miss a single word of our chat.

I heard her yawn a few times, so I appoligized for being such a bore.

"You're not boring me," She said. "Its just that I got on the plane after a long day of work and flew six hours to get here. I'm tired."

The trip with one New Yorker was short - but way too long. The other was a bit longer - but way too short.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, Celtics lose! oh so tempting to tell him, keep it up, your blog is refreshing!