Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Crash Cab

So, I was hoping, before I left New York, that by some fluke of karma I would get into the Cash Cab and become an instant reality gameshow contestant celebrity, thus securing my fame, fortune, and access to Paris Hilton, forever.

Instead, last Friday night, after a dinner with my San Francisco visitor Jen, I got into a crash cab.

We were on the West Side Highway and not wearing seatbelts. In other words, it could have ended really, really badly. Luckily, we weren't going the seventy miles per hour that some New Jersey assholes get up to on that road, and I heard brake-squealing long enough before the three hits (from behind, pinballed forward, then back again) to brace myself fairly well. Jen was not able to brace herself, but since she's made of NASA space foam and rubber, she was okay too.

I can't stop replaying the last moments in my head. There was enough time after the first hit to feel relief that I was still alive and apparently, not badly hurt, but then the next two came and the driver's airbag deployed and the cab filled with smoke. I wasn't really able to feel relief again until Sunday.

Jen--who has flipped her Jeep enough times that I'm convinced she has a calling in stunt-driving--was fine. I kind of freaked out though. The shaking, puking kind of freaking out (although to be honest, the puking came later, and may have had more to do with my butter-with-a-side-of-crab-meat entree than the accident). Not fun.

However, it does occur to me that this cab accident has a certain poetic quality to it, as I enter my final few weeks in the greater New York area.

After college, on my very first day as a worker bee in New York--before the credit card debt and the rocker boyfriends and the Sabrett addiction, when I was still a sweet, optimistic Wellesley graduate--I came down from my bedroom in New Jersey where I was staying with Carolyn and her parents until we (me and Carolyn) could find an apartment. As I went to the kitchen cabinet to get a bowl for my cereal (Cereal! Can you imagine! I'm currently two breakfast sandwiches short of a quadruple bypass) I was stopped short by a newspaper article taped to the cabinet door: "Woman Dies in Cab Catastrophe!" Carolyn's mom, Mrs. Sivitz, had even circled the line "The victim was not wearing her seatbelt." Happy first day of work in New York to me!

I think I actually did buckle up in cabs for a short time. However, soon after I moved into a studio apartment in the East Village with Carolyn, the Taxi and Limousine Commission introduced those horrible "Buckle Up" voice-overs in cabs. You know, the ones where slightly washed-up yet still famous New Yorkers tell passengers to put on their seatbelts. "Hi, I'm Diana Ross and I want you to (sings a little) STOP! In the name of safety!" Anyway, I deliberately stopped putting on my seatbelt in cabs at that point. "Fuck Elmo and Joan Rivers," was my motto. After a few months of being a rebel, it sort of became second nature not to buckle up.

So here I am, about to leave, and I'm in a potentially deadly cab accident. Okay, okay, I finally get it Mrs. Sivitz. I will wear my seatbelt, even in cabs. Especially in cabs. Thanks.


Blogger The Count Del Monte said...

Glad you are okay. Hurry home.

12:18 PM  

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