Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cab stealin' bitches
OR
Now where'd that truck go?

It's a rough morning. That being a slightly ludicrous statement, of course, because it's actually one in the afternoon. But nevermind. To me, it's a rough morning.

Coffee shop again last night. Third night in a row. Working with my dear E, who was definitely not going to stay away for another day, despite the fact that she was really in no shape to be on her feet doing manual labor all night. Between her slightly enfeebled state and the dreaded 10pm rush (we close at 11 at the smaller location), it ended up taking us two hours to close the store. In essence, it sucked ass.

We finally got out of the store around 1am, and I needed to get E home. At that point, despite her brave face and her "nothing can hurt me" attitude, she was having a really hard time walking. We decided to find her a cab, not realizing what kind of task this would be in the Bowery /NoHo area at 1am on a Saturday night / Sunday morning. Oh, there were cabs. Cabs as far as the eye could see. Practically nothing else on the road. Only they were all already full of stupid drunken sorority girls and their frat boy wooers, heading to Chelsea or wherever the hell these people consider "hot" at the moment.

After 20 minutes or so we decided to just get to the subway; I'd ride with her to make sure she made it home and then figure out myself for myself. She went into a bodega to get the all-necessary cigarettes, and I stayed out on the street, just in case.

Well, lo and behold, the case in just in case came to pass. As I'm standing there on Broadway, a cab pulls up right the hell next to me to let some girl out. Yes! Yes yes yes! The cab gods have finally smiled upon us! I lean down into the passenger window and tell the cabbie that my friend is in the store, will be out in just a sec, to go ahead and start the meter.

Cabbie does not like this plan. Not at all. He can't wait, he says, it's a busy night, he says, he'll get a ticket if he stays there, he says. Please. I'm begging you. Please please please, I swear just 30 seconds. He points to the red light ahead: If she's out before it changes. Otherwise... of course all this time the back door is still wide open from where girlie got out, so it's not as if he can actually drive away. Well, most likely he wouldn't, anyway.

And then it happens. This dumb NYU kinda girl, fairly inebriated, goes to get into my cab. I look at her and say, this is my cab. She continues to make for the door, and I repeat rather more forcefully, NO, THIS IS MY CAB. Just then E finally comes out of the store and I yell to her to get over here and get her ass in our cab. And at that moment, NYU twat number 2, significantly more drunk than her friend, tries just barging into our cab.

Well, it's a bit fuzzy because it all happened pretty fast, but I think I was between the cab and stupid drunk bitch. So as she tried to push her way into our cab, I pushed back... with my shoulder. Actually, it was later referred to by E as a "body check". She stumbled back, and probably would have fallen flat on her ass had she not been caught by her friend. (I'll admit it: I was angry. If she'd come back, I mighta clocked that bitch. You don't go stealing my cab a. at all, and b. when I'm trying to get my friend, who's in ever increasing amounts of pain, home safely.) With her out of the way, I finally got E and then me into the cab.

As I went to close the door, superdrunkie stopped it from shutting, saying (and I swear this is a direct quote), "Hey, where are you fucking faggots going?", giggling all the while. The giggling on her part did not cease throughout this entire altercation, as far as I can tell. My response to her was simply "Not with you!" and the slam of the cab door in her face. Despite the time that it takes to describe in words, the whole thing was over in less than a minute.

Now, by this point the cabbie really, really hated us. And when we told him we were going to Brooklyn, he hated us a little more. We knew we'd make it up to him in tip, but he didn't, so we let him fume. What else was there to do?

For the first five minutes of our ride all E could say was, "I'm so in love with you right now." She must have said it ten times. I was laughing, and exhausted, and fairly stunned at what had just happened on the street. She threatened to find a pawn shop and buy me a ring. She's like that.

Shortly before we arrived at E's dropoff point, I told the cabbie that I'd be needing to stay with him to go up to Astoria. I told him it was fine if he wanted to restart the meter since we hadn't told him it would be two stops. By that point I think he still hated us, but I guess he'd figured out that we were getting off of work (not coming home from partying) and that at least one of us was in intense pain. After we dropped E off, he opted not to restart the meter.

On the way up to my place I tried to apologize for making him wait for us, to explain our situation. He just nodded a little bit; he wasn't going to talk to me about it. (Funny enough, last Saturday it was me taking a cab home from work because my back hurt so bad that I wasn't going to make it to the subway; my cabbie then wanted to hear all about it. For some reason, that night empty cabs were everywhere and it took me about four seconds to get one... if only we'd been so lucky yesterday.)

When we finally got to my place, I tipped him $10 on a $24 fare; at that point I think all wrongs were righted as far as he was concerned. He thanked me rather emphatically, and I told him to have a good night.

* * *

Upon arriving home, I was completely exhausted. It was 2am, and my feet hurt so badly that it felt like they were bruised on the bottom, to say nothing of my back. I tried to sleep but couldn't get comfortable, and I'd also somewhat OD'd on caffeine; to get through the night I'd taken one of my special pain killing pills that contains a mild barbiturate, aspirin, and caffeine; I also had a latte. (See, my back's still not right from last weekend, and I guess because of the constant discomfort I've been sleeping like shit.) Unsurprisingly, laying there in the dark, I started having a conscience attack about the stupid drunk girls.

I know that maybe I was wrong for pushing that girl, but what was I supposed to do? She was way beyond any sort of reasoning capability. And anyway, she had the sort of spoiled entitled air about her that made it seem like even totally sober she would have felt justified in taking the cab from us. I wasn't going to just let them steal my cab; I needed to get E home. For that matter, I needed to sit down, something I hadn't done in seven hours. E was fading more and more by the second, kept going only by caffeine and muscle relaxants. Luckily I didn't actually hurt that silly drunk girl. I also don't think they were trying to go home; I think they were headed to another bar. Hopefully it will just turn into a hysterical anecdote for the two of them about their big times out in New York City.

Anyway, I didn't really get into any kind of sleep until almost 5am. Then I slept solid for maybe 4 hours, and then there was more tossing and turning until I finally dragged myself out of bed at about noon.

* * *

So then, there's today.

Today, I'm having one of my "truck" kind of days. As in, I feel like I got hit by one. This happens sometimes. Everything hurts and is ridiculously stiff. My hands and feet are swollen and painful; there are enormous black circles under my eyes. The injuries I sustained from a vicious ice machine attack at work on Saturday are throbbing. Typing right now is a remarkably stupid idea, even, because it's killing my shoulder and my wrists. But laying in bed hurts too and if I do it any more my headache will get worse.

Today calls for a cleanse. My body feels toxic; I've been sleeping terribly, which means I haven't been cleaning my cells out the way that I should. (Not that that's, like, a conscious action or anything. But you know what I mean.) When I finally got up Jon offered to make me coffee, and the idea actually repulsed me. So instead he took me to the store, and we loaded up on purified water, fresh fruit, and raw nuts. I can't stand the idea of putting anything else into my system, except maybe for some peppermint tea.

I hate these days. They're intensely frustrating and make me feel like some kind of cripple. Walking to the store, which is only about five blocks away, I kept having to tell Jon to slow down. Try as I might, I just couldn't get one foot in front of the other any faster. I kept feeling like I would fall over or just collapse under my own weight. I'm dropping things and running into walls, which I always do but this is ridiculous.

Part of why I've gotten so bad is that I can't afford the chiropractor; I haven't been in months. It frustrates me to tears that I'm spending $750 a month on healthcare right now and I'm still having these days. I'm taking way more pills than usual, which of course isn't any kind of solution. It just gets me through when I have no choice but to try to function.

My life is a perfect illustration of the concept that healthcare is for the rich. Melissa as a paralegal? Fully paid health insurance, low co-pays on prescriptions, see any doctor I want again with a low co-pay, and even some chiropractic and psychotherapy sessions covered. Of course, with the salary I made then I could have easily afforded the premiums that I'm expected to pay now. But... Melissa as a part time coffee shop worker? Paying more than I can afford even though the plan is state-assisted, and then it doesn't cover my drugs hardly at all, and won't let me see any of my doctors (because they're "specialists"). So I'm spending way more money, even though I'm making way less, and not seeing the docs I need to see or getting proper care, and so I'm a wreck. Yes, it's a brilliant system. Privatization is the best! Hopefully I'll have a "real" job again soon, and I can re-enter the bourgeois world of those who can take proper care of themselves.

Oh, the job? The one I've interviewed for three times now? No word yet. I mean, it's only been two weeks, and it's not as if my life hangs in the balance or anything. Why would they rush? They'll just take their sweet time about it.

Supposedly, I'll hear tomorrow. As far as I can tell, my chances are still 50/50.

* * *

It is now 10:30 at night, and I am finally beginning to feel somewhat alright. Exhausted, but mostly functional. We went and had some Japanese food: miso, seaweed salad, edamame, green tea. These things are always restorative. We came back home and I slept for probably two hours, or maybe more. And then I took a warm bath. Finally, after this long day, I feel steady when I walk.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, tomorrow I'll feel that way when I wake up.

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