Monday, August 15, 2005

But Mercifully I have Great Luck With Cabbies

Theoretically, this is a companion post to one I have yet to write and they will fit together seemlessly here. If not, just go with it, okay?

I finally managed to drag myself out my apartment yesterday around 5pm for a trip to Target for some "retail therapy" to see if I couldn't cheer myself up. This was a pretty big gamble- yes, buying things makes me feel good, but battling the weekend crowds at Brooklyn Target is often enough to put me into a tailspin. Brooklyn Target is full of couples shopping for their households: young couples, old couples, gay couples, straight couples, mixed-race couples all stocking up on paper towels, and 50lb bags of kitty-litter, duvet covers, bookshelves, vaginal itch-creme products, ice tea mixes, etc... They help each other: dividing up the list, comparison shopping, picking out throw pillows, each taking an end of the 50lbs of Fresh Step, and I can't help but stare and idealize these domestic tableaux, which of course leave me wide open to be run over by the 9,000 unaccompanied screaming children in Target, wailing, smacking each other in the face and trailing Chuck E. Cheese balloons behind them.

When I force myself to turn away, I invariably encounter a young person shopping for college or their first apartment with a parent who can't spend money on them fast enough- "What about a humidifyer? You need a humidifyer. Oh! Those crates would be so good for storage!" And these dumb kids just stand around, rolling their eyes, embarssed to the max.

"Take it, " I want to yell at these dumb burgeoning Hipsters. "Take it all! Anything your parents are offering, get it now! Who knows how generous they'll be feeling in three years when you're a lot less cute, your student loans are due and your roommate just moved out and took all the kitchenwares with her? Make like you're on Supermarket Sweep and fill that cart!"

This is why a half hour trip to Target ends up taking me 2 hours. Among other things, I have purchased a coffee maker and an ironing board, and without a domestic partner to help me schlep this stuff home, I've resigned myself to taking a cab home. Once you make that decision, you might as well go nuts and start buying the 24 pack of toilet paper. Fruit snacks on sale, two boxes for three dollars? Sure. Pile it in, I'm taking a car home. Of course, I end up spending an obscene amount of money and I still feel ... blue. And, they were out of the over-the-door shoe organizer that I desperately need. Well, this whole trip was a fucking disaster.

My cart is loaded to the max and I take the elevator down to street level. The carts can't leave the building, and I still need to single-handedly schlep my wares from the exit to the taxi rank. I try desperately to do it in one trip but it cannot be done; I ask the security guard to watch my Mr. Coffee and few remaining bags as I head out; I have about 4% confidence Mr. Coffee will be there when I return. For the 100th time this weekend I curse my lack of helpful domestic partner. As I run out the exit, it starts to pour.

A Gypsy Cab driver approaches me and asks if I need a cab. He helps me go back for my bags and we load all of my purchases into his Bronco. I make to get into the backseat. "You want to ride in the back, don't you want to ride in the front with me?" Shrugging, I hop into the front. I'm a friendly girl. "That's it. Roll in the front with me, baby. This is how we do it."
I start talking with my Cabbie who has a thick Caribbean accent. He says something, but I'm pretty sure I've misheard him, so I ignore it. He says it again. "You sound like a Black lady."

"I sound like a Black Lady?" I repeat, laughing. I am highly complimented by this.

"I have this boss. He's Italian, but he acts like he's a Black man."

"Oh, well, that settles it. I'm Italian." I can only imagine how thrilled my father would be with this guy's theory that Italians are emulating Black-Americans. The Cabbie says something else but the only word I can make out is "weed".

"No Thanks, " I say, figuring he has offered to hook me up. Seriously, where do I find these people? I have always prided myself on being able to get on with anyone, I think it's really one of my best qualities. But it always kind of amazes me, here I am, the littlest white girl ever, riding in a Bronco with some guy, I've got a Mr. Coffee and an Ironing Board in the back, there's a raging thunderstorm outside, we're eating mini-Twix bars in the front, he says I sound like a Sista, he's offering me a drug hook-up and now he says, "My boss, he's Italian, but he smokes a lot of weed."

I actually don't know what to say to that.

I get home and we both get soaking wet as he helps me with my bags. I give him ten bucks and he says he enjoyed driving me, he tells me to look for him and he gives me his schedule. I ask his name. I now have two very worthy choices any time I need a ride home from Target.

I spend the rest of the night dancing in my kitchen to The Magnetic Fields and ironing. After my joy ride with Alan, I feel a little less lonely.

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