The fare was at Berklee. Getting to this person involved a labyrinthine GPS-led journey amongst the twisting streets of that section of the city. It’s a section that I have never been jazzed about, even when I was a student at Northeastern and kind of nearby. The only thing worth looking at besides Berklee students smoking on the sidewalk is the Christian Science Center temple and that’s old hat by now.
My quarry was at the very end of a very narrow one way street, hampered by construction and opening on to Mass Ave. This is around 11:00 AM. Cars are behind me, traffic is a solid block in front of me. Do I swing around somehow on to Mass Ave. and then bang a U-ie to pull up in front of this dude? Or do I pull up on to the corner and hope A) people can get by me and B) the dude is going to be right there? Well, the answer to A was “no” and yes, I pulled my car up on to a corner. I know, I know. Look, I’m not the most collected person.
BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEPPP. Mind you, I have pulled on top of a street corner. So I am halfway in a crosswalk. I have officially flown my IDIOT BOSTON DRIVER flag out of the back of the M&M. Berklee Dude wasn’t around. BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP from behind me. There’s nowhere to go because pedestrians are surging around my tiny vehicle, and traffic was, once again, a solid line of metal in front of me.
I place a desperate call to my fare. A shredding guitar blows out my ear drum and “Joey” lets me know he’s too busy “rocking” to answer the phone. Instead of leaving a message along the lines of “Hey Joey, your voicemail message is ridic, and you can go **** yourself for not being where you’re supposed to be,” I prep to send a text.
There’s suddenly a tapping on my window. A grinning young person with disheveled hair waves. I roll down the window.
“Joey?” I ask through gritted teeth from my iridescent green go-kart.
“Yeah, man,” he says nonchalantly, and climbs in the back with a short compatriot.
Both have an aura of having been lucky enough this early in the semester to have located and used the really good weed that only Berklee students can acquire.
They’re in. I’m off. No, I’m not. Traffic is moving. I could slip in and be off this street corner that my car is on top of like when the MIT students assemble a car on top of their dome or whatever. I couldn’t go because a young lady was sauntering in the crosswalk. It wasn’t a crosswalk walk. It was an “entering the club, all eyes on me, if that’s your boyfriend, he wasn’t last night” walk. I’m not sure for whom she was preening. It definitely wasn’t for me. She sort of paused when I revved my engine.
I didn’t mean to rev at her. I was trying to beat her into the crosswalk. But I think I may have parked on a sort of strangely textured part of the sidewalk (for blind people?) or maybe I was REALLY on top of the corner so one of my wheels wasn’t touching? Who knows. You can rest assured that nothing I plan ever turns out correctly (well, the wedding did but that was it), so yes, my tires were spinning as if I had parked in a snowbank. My car was not advancing. I had two passengers, mass havoc around me, a haughty woman in the crosswalk and BEEEEP BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEP behind me. Boston.