Taxi Cab Confessions

Cab History

In honor of my five year anniversary as a New Yorker, I reflected on the many men who have taken me home…taxi drivers, that is.

I thought about adding up how much money I’ve spent on cab fares, but I never will for the same reason I still eat $1 pizza. I know if I really think about it, I will be forced to move immediately. I basically only take cabs home to Brooklyn, which makes for plenty of time to bond with (or totally annoy) my driver. My apartment is far enough off the beaten path for a relationship to evolve from the initial nervous greetings into a “he said/she said” argument over directions. Sometimes — I’ll be honest — I don’t look up from Instagram, and sometimes I’m crying on the phone. Sometimes the driver is doing the same. I’ve also had Carrie Bradshaw moments where a chatty driver has turned around a rough night and made me laugh. Once I even convinced myself I was in the Cash Cab.

I chose a few standout cabdriver archetypes from the many fleeting interactions in the years since I learned you don’t have to yell “TAXI!” to get one to stop:

The One You Want to Befriend

I once had a young driver who, at a red light, rolled the window down and retrieved a slice of pizza from a friend on the sidewalk. “I haven’t had dinner yet,” he half-apologized from behind his Ray Bans. I was teenage girl-level impressed. In retrospect, this doesn’t seem all that hard. Maybe I was just hungry.

The One that Wants to Befriend You

My roommate and I were discussing her upcoming trip to Texas.

The cabbie wondered aloud, “Y’all Southern?”

He immediately gave us his barbecue restaurant recommendations. Followed by his idea for a barbecue restaurant. Then came his elevator pitch for a reality series about a cab driver who opens a barbecue restaurant. We may have even been filmed for the pilot episode – I’m unclear. If that show ever makes it to air, you can thank our nuanced review of his pitch.

The Surrogate Parent

Many drivers have lectured me about my high-risk lifestyle. I’ve caught heat (at varying levels of offensiveness) for: living in Brooklyn; living without a man; taking the subway; not being married yet; forgetting to lock my door behind me; and leaving the window open with my hair wet. My actual parents haven’t bothered me about wet hair since I was waiting for the school bus.

The Woman

I’ve only ever met one woman cabdriver. I didn’t ask her any questions but spent an entire ride to the airport imagining her life. If anyone meets this mysterious lone woman driver, please put on your journalist hat and ask some follow-up questions.

The Hopeless Romantic

Everyone has met a version of this driver. He’s perpetually on the phone with his girlfriend, and my Spanish minor rears its ugly, under-used head when I overhear the word “amor” every five seconds. This cab ride is equal parts enthralling and frustrating, as I only know the vocabulary they teach in school. Maybe they’re planning his next epic journey home so he can ask her disapproving father for permission to marry his daughter. The worse option: she lives in Queens and they’re just talking dirty until his shift is over.

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**Leah Prinzivalli is tapping her foot on the subway platform and checking her Twitter.

Smiles For All