On the connecting flight from Toronto to New York I was going to sit next to a broad shouldered businessman. As I approached the row I stopped and said “hi.” The guy stood up and let me sit at the window seat.
“I guess you could’ve just been saying hi.”
I laughed politely, not fully hearing what he said. We looked at each other for a second before I had to say it – “What was that?”
“Oh. I was just saying that maybe you were saying hi and didn’t want to sit in here,” he explained as I buckled myself in.
“No.” I said with another polite chuckle. And that’s all we said to one another.
After the plane took off he moved to an empty seat in front of us. I felt a bit sad that he just left without saying goodbye.
You have to wait in a long line to get a cab at JFK. I took that time to get the directions from Reed. “Take the Atlantic. If not the guy will take the belt parkway and it’ll cost a fortune. Atlantic to Bedford.” You gotta act like you know where you’re going so the cabs don’t jerk you around.
“Where to, buddy?” My Indian cab driver asked.
“Going to Bedstuy. Take the Atlantic to Bedford.”
“Yeah. Don’t take the…” I was searching the text for the word, “The Beltway. Atlantic to Bedford… Ave?” I wasn’t sure if it was Ave or Street. Ave sounded right.
“Are you sure, buddy?”
“Look, my friend told me to do that. I don’t know why.” I lied. “He just said to do it.”
“But why? It would take so much longer.”
“He lives there and says it’s quicker. I don’t know.” We were both lying to the other.
“Ok.” He said. “I don’t think so, but if you want.”
“Yeah. Let’s just do what he says,” I said.
We drove through some pretty rough bits, seemed like every other business was a tire shop. Garbage strewn all over the streets and sidewalks. The cabbie was obviously very nervous. Whenever he stopped at the red light he would look at the cars parked beside us, eyeing up the trucks blasting hip hop, shaking his head like the world was about to end. The entire ride was dead silent. I got the feeling he was furious.
Twenty minutes in he said, “I don’t know why. The beltway is just a few blocks down there.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know. He said this was a better way.”
The cabbie shook his head as if to say, “You’re wrong.”
When we finally got to Reed’s I said, “Sorry if that made you anxious. You really think that was a bad way to go?”
“Buddy. We drove through Eastern Brooklyn.”
“Yeah? That’s not good?”
“No. It’s okay. Forget it.”
I ruined his night but I didn’t feel too bad about it. I was in NEW YARK!