February 28th 2014
Story originally written and experienced: February 12th 2014
The strangest thing about all of it was.
Right before it happened.
I sent a text that said
“My week was kind of strange this week. But I can’t imagine it could get any worse.”
Apparently wasn’t true.
I was tApPiNg my foot at my desk—perfectly synced to the second hand on the clock that was t i c k i n g farther and farther from 6:29 p.m.
It was early night at the office.
Pleasantly shorter than the 11:00 pm evening that occurred the night before.
And it was also quite ideal because.
It was laundry day today.
And I just needed to go.
I tossed my purse over my shoulder. Zipped up my coat. Slipped my phone in my pocket. And bid my co workers farewell.
Grand Central Station bound. “The Head And The Heart” threading through my ear buds with my scarf loosely wound around my neck.
It was cold that day.
It had been cold every day.
Some people call it winter.
I just call it wrong.
I waited on the platform for the train. Except the train wasn’t coming…
…And the train wasn’t coming.
And the train wasn’t coming…
And the train never came.
“Ladies and gentleman” the train announcer interjected over the loud speaker “We are experiencing delays on the uptown express and local tracks. The next train may come in 20 minutes.”
I had socks to clean.
I squeezed my purse by my side and sprinted up the stairs—desperately throwing my hand in the air for cab to take me to haloed destination of mountain fresh pants.
3 minutes later a cab pulled over. Rolled
the window and told me that he had someone in the back seat.
If I followed the cab up just one block—he would happily let me in. To which I said.
I honored our agreement. Kicked my heels into high gear and scampered towards my well-deserved prize.
So did someone else.
A crazy…someone else.
As I sprinted towards >>> the cab I could see a frantic individual in the
right corner of my eye.
It was another woman. And she flung the door open first.
“Sorry.” I said. Frost collected on my jacket and hands blushed with the cold. “I called this cab about a block ago.”
“Oh I’m sure you did.”
“Great. Glad we can agree.”
“Whatever you’re a lying whore.”
“…This took a really weird turn. I’m just gonna take this cab now. Since it’s mine.”
The woman began to scream.
At the cab driver.
Asking if the words that I spoke were indeed the truth. I eventually told the deranged fashionista with the spiky bag and cross-eyed gaze that “I wasn’t trying to lose my life over this shit so just chill and take the damn thing”
She was grateful and told me to “Go fuck myself.”
Slammed the door and drove away.
But this time I was 3 blocks down.
And it wasn’t until 7:06 pm.
That an open cab finally came my way.
I op ened the door when suddenly
Yet another woman had the same idea….again.
She had a child and a relentless attitude. She screamed “THIS IS MY CAB.” To which I said
She shoved her child in the car despite my true words. Said “tough shit.” Shut the door. And once again. I saw my transportation to lavendar infused blouses get
into the distance.
It was now 7:13 pm.
Here we go again.
I tried my luck across the street. This time with a more aggressive attitude on the mind—shamelessly hurdling over innocent bystanders along the way.
2 cold minutes later I spotted one more cab.
I flung myself in the backseat before another crazy asshole had the chance. I requested he take me to to my desired intersection right away.
And to please step on it.
Definitely the slowest cab driver of my damn life.
“Please.” I begged. “Please. Please. For the love of God. Take the second turn to the left. And step on it!
He took a right.
Frazzled and annoyed upon arriving one block shy of my destination, I quickly paid the cab driver and mercilessly closed the door
…only to turn around and realize:
My cell phone was still in the back seat
….driving the fuck away.
It was now 7:21pm
The laundromat closed in 9 minutes. The only clean article of clothing I had in my closet was a replacement ref ensemble I had slapped together 2 halloweens before
And although the plastic fabric was sporting just a few Corona-induced stains—I’m not so sure my employers would feel as sympathetic…the next day.
I frantically ran upstairs to my apartment. Throwing my shit into a bag—desperate to make it to my cleaner’s lair in due time.
Phoneless. Sockless. Chipotles-less.
I grabbed my keys to sprint out the door.
Except that I didn’t.
But only because.
They were gone.
Only to be discovered 3 long minutes later beneath my pillow followed by a hard sprint to the local laundromat at precisely 7:32 pm.
I swan dived through the door >>> Only to hear her say
“You’re just too late.”
“No. Please. NO PLEASE NO I SACRIFICED MY PHONE FOR THIS.”
Not a single fuck given.
I did. I wept in the laundromat. Like a baby. I knew I looked ridiculous. I knew it. But I wept anyway.
As if my discount jeans were the holy grail and I just kind of fucked shit up. As if my underwear and extra stretchy leggings were the only way to end the apocalypse and I was just like a couple minutes late. #mybadguys. As if my sports bra was the last Vorcrux that needed to be destroyed to kill lord Voldemort via laundry machine for all eternity and now I just like. Wasn’t gonna do it.
All thanks to Doris, I sulked as I headed back to my apartment and thought about the incredible miss that had just ensued.
Not a single roommate was home. Or even nearby.
So I ventured to a local store and asked to use their phone to call my missing possession.
“….Hello? I…I think you have my phone?”
“I think I do too…your phone was dying so I took it to a nearby Apple store to charge it. The cab driver tried to steal actually it but I took it from him. I’m glad you called. I’m David.”
“David. Thank you so much”
“Of course. I live on the Upper West Side. You’re welcome to pick it up whenever you want. Maybe 9:30 pm? I’ll be home from the gym by then.”
“That sounds perfect. Thank you so much.”
“I’m so happy to help.”
I left my apartment at 9:15pm to meet David. He was an older gentleman. Lived in an expensive part of town. And had a nice smile on his face. I thanked him again and told him.
“I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear someone pick up and be so kind.”
To which he said
“Of course. We never really anticipate days getting weird or a bad day to happen. We all have bad days. I’ve totally been there. And I’m happy to have made it just a little bit better. Even if I am a stranger.”
And the thing is.
I felt good about getting my phone.
Better that my roommates let me borrow clothes to wear the next day.
And the absolute best when I realized that: For every 2 people that will push you out of a cab. You’ve got that one person who won’t. For every 2 people that try to bring you down. You’ve got that one person who never will. Whether they’re people you’ve associated with your whole life. Or a stranger who spontaneously makes a day. It’s where best friends come from. Companionship comes from. And good deeds come from too.
And what a wonderfully unexpected realization that really is.
Like this post and sometimes crave baklava? Good. Share this story with a friend who might be having a bad day. Or just someone you damn well appreciate. Good people deserve to know how kick ass they really are.