Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Time I Was Late for a Date Because I Got Hit by a Car

Dating in New York City is never dull. Especially if you're meeting me for a date.

It's Saturday night and I have been getting ready for more than an hour, changing outfits eight or nine times and practicing seductive grins in the mirror.

"This is it, I can just feel it. Plus we were friends first, and that's always good," I tell my roommate as I hold my nose and take one more shot of SoCo - can't leave the house for a date without a buzz going first.

Tonight I am meeting Nick, a 28-year-old I worked with at my first job in New York back when I first moved here four years ago. He was born in Cuba, has bright seafoam-colored eyes and the kind of thick black eyelashes that look like natural eyeliner -- not like questionable "guyliner," just the type of lashes any girl would kill for. Last week I passed him on a Broadway crosswalk, then that very same evening we ran into eachother on 9th Avenue when I was walking home from work. It was fate. And he must have thought so too because right then and there we made dinner plans for this night.

So now that I've had the prerequisite SoCo shots and chosen an intentionally-mismatched outfit (we're going to the East Village after dinner), I head out the door.

When I am a few blocks from the restaurant, my mom calls.

"Are you at your computer? Can you get on Craiglist and help me find a subzero fridge in Sarasota, Florida?" She asks.

"What the hell? It's Saturday night, I'm headed to a date, can't help now."

Rolling my eyes and thinking my mother is a damn nutjob, I look both ways and begin to cross over 39th Street when deep in my peripheral vision I see a yellow cab speeding around the corner; an illegal left turn. The cab strikes me in the knee and before I can help it, I am flying across the hood, and I land dead center between the cab's front tires, spread eagle on the pot-holed pavement.

"KATE?! Are you there? What the hell just happened?!" I can hear my mom screeching through my iPhone, which is laying face up on the curb about five feet away from me.

I jump up, retrieve my cracked-screened phone and frantically try to type in the driver's plates. Two mid-western looking tourists, utter terror plastered across their faces, are in the backseat, and before they can get out I stutter something about being fine -- I am, after all, alive and standing -- and the driver peels out upon hearing me say I am ok.

I begin to limp across the street towards the restaurant where Nick is presumably waiting for me, and my mother calls.

"Kate, what happened? I called 911." My mother says. I tell her not to worry, I just got run over by a speeding and illegal turning cabbie and blood is gushing down my legs. Hobbling towards the restaurant, I realize my body is shaking uncontrollably. I am terrified and still can't believe what the hell just happened.

Just as I am approaching my destination, a police car complete with flashing lights and an echoing siren pulls over. I walk up to the car window and tell them to wait just one second. Still limping, I enter the restaurant and see Nick patiently sitting at the bar, full beer in hand.

"Hey you!" he exclaims. His eyes look me up and down and stop at my heinously bloody knees. "What the..."

"Nick, I am sorry, this is really embarrassing, but I've just been hit by a car and the cops are outside. Can you hang out here for a second?"

Bless his heart, his face is overcome with worry as he tells the bartender to watch his drink explaining, "this girl has just been run over by a car!" and he follows me outside.

Nick stands beside me as I describe the hit and run and the officer takes down my report.

Later, after Nick and I have had a dozen or so drinks between the two of us, we re-tell the hilarity to every person we come across in the East Village. And though I assume he thinks I am some kind of weird accident-prone chick, he doesn't show it, because we end the date at 4 am, wildly making out in front of my building and promising each other we'll get together early in the week.