Okay, so this one isn’t really related to my subject matter, but my Dad thought it a humorous enough story, that I should share it, so here we go…

(This is part of my 30 hour journey home from the brain plasticity seminar I went to in NY)

It is 4 in the morning, 12 hours past when my plane was supposed to have taken off. I have only had two hours of sleep because my airline keeps canceling and moving my flight. I am moving by sheer will as I drag my suitcase down the 5 mini flights of stairs between my room and the lobby. I don’t remember if I spoke to the front desk or not, too foggy, but I know I stood there, and that a decision was made for me to share a cab with another passenger, a clean cut man in his 30s.

At some point a yellow minivan cab arrives and we go out to greet it. A largish man steps out, baseball hat akimbo, walks around back to open the trunk and stares at us. Alrightly then. I load my suitcase. The other passenger does the same. The driver closes the door and gets back in the driver’s seat. So, I opened the side door myself. It is not a big deal, just not what I have come to expect from a cabbie. Upon opening the door, I see two more men sitting inside hats akimbo, wearing large gold jewelry, one in the front seat and one in the back. It is just clothes, I tell myself, no snap judgments. They stare ahead, ignoring us completely. Okay, that part is weird. Had the other passenger not been with me, I am quite sure I would not have gotten in. Well, I hope I would not have gotten in. In my foggy sleep state it was like floating though an odd dream on the verge of taking a turn to the scary.  If this were a comedy action movie, these guys would have just bumped off the cabbie to use his car in a getaway scene, and had to divert to pick up passengers to keep their cover.  Did I mention I was tires and my brain a little floaty? Anyway, the other passenger was with me, so I climbed in. (Looking back, that was a lot of trust in a stranger, a few strangers luckily it was well placed.) I climbed to the back and sat down leaving the other passenger to sit next to the large man in the second row. The music was very loud for a cab, and even louder for a 4am cab, but that was okay. I understand using loud music to keep you awake. Rap has good rhythm, and can help your blood to flow. Blood to flow…that was the disturbing part. It was gangster rap. A lovely little ditty about beating your ho. Well, now, isn’t that nice. I hope we are headed to the airport.

Deep sigh, there is the airport. The passenger and I get out and meet the driver around back, he opens the trunk and stares at us. The nice man I am traveling with gives a little look to the driver and lifts my suitcase out for me. The driver tells us 20 bucks. We have to trust him as there was no meter visible. I think I only have twenties so the passenger gives me a ten, and I hand over my twenty. The driver just stares at me. “What, you said 20.” He only words to me: “This is a 5.” Oops! I hand over a 20 and let him keep the 5. I little tip for not killing me in a field.

Who knows if a little more sleep or sunlight would have changed my experience completely? I know the clothes and music would have held less meaning. The part that stuck with me was the lack of eye contact and communication of any kind. That was truly creepy. So glad they were not the dudes in my mental movie, and that they helped me to get home.

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