As my group left Nationals Park, some of my friends expressed interest in going to a bar.
Improv Boy: Do you want to join them?
Me: I could probably last for one drink, but that’s it. I’d rather go home. [Winking.] It’s your call, though.
Improv Boy [putting his arm around me]: Let’s go home then.
A friend, Samantha, asked if she could share a cab with us since we live in the same neighborhood. We found a cab quickly, and it was a nice, white Town Car with plush seats. Samantha and I got in the back, and Improv Boy sat in the front. The cab driver was friendly and deftly navigated his way through the streets as though he was Mario Andretti.
Me: You rock, Mr. Cab Driver! I need to get your card.
[I noticed a Pakistani flag in the window of the cab and smiled to myself. I wrote my college admissions essay about Benazir Bhutto, but I figured that now wasn’t the time to get into a discussion about world politics.]
Improv Boy [to the cab driver]: There’s a lot of traffic. Why is that?
Cab Driver: There was a game tonight.
Improv Boy: Football?
Cab Driver: No. Baseball.
Improv Boy: Oh, the Redskins were playing?
Cab Driver: No, the Nationals.
Improv Boy: Who were they playing? The Cowboys?
Cab Driver: No, the Marlins.
I had been rolling my eyes during the entire interaction, and finally had to speak up:
Hey. Be nice. He’s trying to get us home as quickly as possible so don’t mess with him.
What I really wanted to say:
Stop being such an asshole to the cab driver! You know damn well what was going on inside the stadium and why there’s so much traffic. You were at the freaking game! You’re not in improv class right now, and the cab driver probably thinks you’re making fun of him! That’s not cool so please just shut up!
For the rest of the ride home, Samantha and I talked about local sushi places. When we arrived in front of my place, Improv Boy offered to pay and wouldn’t even let Samantha contribute to the tip. After we said goodbye to Samantha, I said:
That was really nice of you! Thanks!
As we approached the front door to my building, Improv Boy commented:
So…I don’t think I’m going to come upstairs.
Me [confused]: Are you joking?
Improv Boy: No.
Me: Is something wrong?
Improv Boy: No. [Pause.] I just don’t think we have a future together.
To be continued…