Rider S Asks If You Really Want To Be In The Game
We have talked about the changing face of marijuana distribution now that legalization is here, and merging with technology. Here is a story from someone who worked for a delivery service, which through the use of cellphones and pagers, were an upgrade from its predecessor, the bodega in the face of strengthened laws.
It’s a late afternoon Monday in Manhattan. Dreary, rainy, cold. A mid February montage of misery. On the scale of shittiness; snow, cold, and rain are always pretty high. But cold freezing rain makes the others a bitch. It’s just complete misery, a type of misery I only experienced in the military. It’s a type of shittiness that comes from extended periods of time in terrible weather elements. In “the game”, this sentiment is shared by “custis” (customers) as well as my fellow riders. This inevitably leads to a busy fucking day of feeding the marijuana needs of the masses sheltering themselves from the shittiness of which is my domain for next 8 or so hours.
Layered to the max, I cruise on from run to run. I think to myself I might murder the next custi who asks me if it’s wet out there, instead I will most likely stare blankly at their dumb face while I drip half a bathtub’s worth of rainwater on their entranceway mat.
Custis are such easy targets on days like this but what do they expect? It’s war out here. Clueless fucking pedestrians tweeting in the middle of twenty-third and facebook ave, clueless commuter drivers who are too good for the subway with the peasants, and asshole taxi’s whose driving prowess occasionally is lower than their command of the English language. To clarify, I have no problem with it. Don’t speak English, but fucking use your turn signals mother fuckers.
Yet here I am, fairly soaked a dusky hue of goldish rain haze at 7 pm, and off to the next one of five backed up runs. The money heals the wounds at the end of the night, I remind myself. Off to the next.
This One Is Cross Town
Been midtown east to west all day. It’s so fucking annoying when everyone is in a hurry to get home. No one is looking. I’m taking 34th st across town. I immediately regret the decision. Too much turning and to many pedestrians. A side street like 35th would have been much smoother. I’m riding through Lexington with my eye on park. No traffic behind me but a lot of mirrored traffic turning left in front of me. They definitely want to take the reprieve from traffic to turn while they can. My approach is pretty quick to the intersection but I have clear line of sight to the next car wanting to turn. Well THEY have to wait, I’m going straight. I see him begin his turn and wait for the agreed upon speed reduction while I zoom thru my green, one millisecond close, two milliseconds closer, three milliseconds this guy isn’t stopping.
The collision happens as anticipated. His front end meets my front tire at a diagonal angel, my bike sucks underneath the front end, and I find myself flying on top of his hood and my elbow squarely meeting the center mast of his windshield. The violence of the impact had my elbow penetrating the windshield. How sick must that must have looked from inside that damn van.
Certain instincts kick in for riders who have gone for a while. First the brush off. For me this involved laughably jimmying my elbow out of his windshield. No need to take that with me I suppose. I slide down the hood. Feel my body up a bit. I think I’m fine, I suggest to myself. My elbows a bit sore and some of the layers on my arm are badly torn but I think I’m ok.
Next, the product. Grab at my bag and feel for my box. A hard plastic smack sound reverberates from my inspection.
Feel the left pocket for the money. The knot safely secure in my jeans under a couple layers.
My phone! Grab at my phone, seems fine, send out a test message to make sure. Damn these work blackberrys sure do take some damage. (I often wonder if it’s the hard ass nature of my boss or the notion of going back to bartending which was twice the hours for half the pay, that causes these instincts.)
Everything Seems To Be Fine
Then the proverbial bottoming of the stomach. My bike!!! I look down. My work horse is definitely wounded. I yank it from underneath and check the frame for damage. Could it be that just my front wheel is the only issue, comically taco shaped in half, with a still inflated tire?
At that moment out comes the driver. This pudgy orthodox Jewish man frolics out the car with the curious demeanor of some old wise monk discussing the purpose of life. Dressed in full black orthodox apparel and the complimentary leased minivan that made the scene look more like crown heights then mid town.
“Are you ok?”
“Do I look fucking ok?” I quip. “What the fuck is the matter with you? You can’t fucking see? You’re turning! You stop dick head?”
“I could not see you. I just wanted to turn. Are you fine? Do u need the hospital?” He says.
“No I don’t need a god damn hospital, I’m fine. But look at my fucking bike!”
I present my taco wheel bike.
“What the fuck man you fucked up my bicycle.”
In The Game
My minds begins clicking. I don’t want police here. I have about $700 in small bills and half an onion of goodness permeating from my bag. My mind sharpens.
“You’re fucking paying for this! You fucked up my bike I had the right of way. This shit is gonna cost money to fix.”
“Give me 400 bucks!”
“I… I… I don’t think I have” he mumbles.
“You better find it mother fucker. ” I bark back.
“I’m about to call the fucking cops, you’ll be paying insurance claims for years mother fucker, as a matter of fact my back is starting to hurt.”
(I struggle not to laugh at the prospect of me calling the police.)
“Ok ok give me a second.”
He frolics back to his car and rustles around. I drag my bike over to his drivers side.
He turns, “I only have 250. I’m sorry.”
“You fucking kidding me!”
In one motion I snatch the money from his hands and scoop my bike on my shoulder. Walk away and pull out my iPhone, begin googling the closest bike shop. Oh yea, I’ll feel this tomorrow morning!
“Ding ding ding ding!!!”.
I can feel my blackberry vibrating in my now soaked and shredded coat.
“Where the fuck are you, need these runs closed” my phone reads.
I turn the walk into a quick jog and mumble under my breath, “this mother fucker.”