* To those of you who might be paying attention: This post was written over a month ago, when Ben Affleck’s movie, ‘The Town’, was still playing in theaters. Sometimes I move slowly. Hence, I am only now getting around to posting it.
Last night, after an interesting taxi ride, I was reminded of a great New York story that I never wrote about. It was my own little version of “Cash Cab”. Only, instead of there being any trivia, the money was sort of just…mine. It happened years ago, long before I started this blog—long before WordPress even existed.
I was out one night with my friend Adam. We had met up for a couple of drinks and then decided to call it early and head to my apartment to watch a movie. Outside, the rain was falling in sheets and the wind was whipping angrily. The idea of trudging to a subway, even if only mere blocks away, was just plain miserable. So we hailed a cab. The driver pulled up to the curb and I, being nearest the street climbed in first, Adam following close behind. So I’m one foot into the car and I pick my head up to slide across the seat in front of me and there, strewn across it, is a literal mess of money. Instantly, a voice inside my head began to shout, “Pick it up! Pick it up!” So I did. And as I did, I realized these weren’t ones. They weren’t fives, or tens or even fifties. They were HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS. And there were seven of them!
For a second I thought I should say something to the driver, as if it were maybe his, or as if someone might be calling to claim it. And then my street smarts kicked in and told me to keep my mouth shut; that it wasn’t the cabby’s and that whoever it was that so carelessly dropped seven Benjamins in the back of a New York City taxi, probably wasn’t missing it anyway. So I bit down on my tongue and stuffed the wad of cash into the bottom of my bag. The excitement was killing me. I leaned over to Adam and calmly whispered the news, to him. He looked at me as if to scream, when I quickly threw my palm up to cover his mouth. For the rest of the ride we sat in silence, about to burst.
After what seemed like a far more treacherous than usual climb up the stairs, we finally stepped into my apartment where I pulled the fortune from my bag and spread it out on my kitchen table. For fifteen minutes we jumped up and down screaming, “We’re rich, we’re rich!” And then I divided it—$400 for me, $300 for Adam.
Now this kind of thing doesn’t happen often to a gal, I know. It’s even less likely, that it would ever happen twice.
So my friend Milda and I go to see Ben Affleck’s recent movie, “The Town”. If you don’t know, this is a story about bank robbers. And mind you, they are dealing with insane amounts of cash. The movie gets out and we decide to go for a glass of wine. And the one turns into two. An hour and a half has passed and at this point it’s too late for me to take the subway. So I hail a cab. (And I sigh, that yet again I’m spending twenty bucks to get home instead of two and change.) But ah yes, safety first! So we arrive in Brooklyn and we’re approaching the intersection near where I live and because I speak too late, the cabbie misses his chance to turn and drop me right in front of my building.
“That’s ok,” I say to him. “I can get out here.” But instead of getting out via the left door, (which I would have, had he dropped me in the right place) I got out via the right. And as if this was playing out according to some master plan, as I squeeze the handle to exit, I see, in the side pocket of the door, a neatly folded WAD of money. And I think to myself: “Holy shit! Again? I have got to be the luckiest chick on the planet.” Having been through this before, my instincts kick in immediately. I nonchalantly grab the wad, close my palm around it, say my farewell and thank you and exit the vehicle.
But recall—I just got out of seeing this movie, “The Town”. It centers around people stealing money. So my mind starts racing. And I quicken my pace. I get the to the building and because it’s past ten, the outside front door is locked. I turn the key viciously, as if someone is behind me. Because someone must be following me. Someone has to have set me up. They know I have this money. And it’s not just money. It’s dirty money. It’s drug money. Or murder money. Someone needed to get rid of it, so they set me up, because I am the perfect target. The innocent victim. (Don’t ask me to explain the logic behind this! I suppose sometimes my imagination can run a little wild.)
So I get into the building’s front door. And I look behind me again. No one is there. I make it through the second door. Still, the coast is clear. I run to the elevator and enter vigilantly, in case someone is hiding inside. Come on Andrea!! Really. The elevator door opens, I run down the hall, unlock the door to my apartment, slam the door behind me, lock it and run to my bedroom to take a deep breath. Safe.
And then I start to smile, remembering that once again fortune has found me. What will I buy with the money? How much is even there? It looked like hundreds. It had to be at least $500. Should I buy the leather motorcyle jacket I’ve been eyeing? The yummy leather bag I saw at J Crew? Expensive highlights? Dinner at Daniel? Ahh! There’s so much I could do.
And then I take the money from my bag and look at it…more closely…and see…that it’s fake. Phony bills. Some advertising gimmick. As I realized that this meant there would be no leather jacket, no new bag, no dinner at Daniel, my smile started to fade. But then I laughed, thinking of my panic minutes before, and the whole scenario I’d dreamt up. I might not be cut out to ever really rob a bank, but a good game of cops and robbers? That I think I’d do quite well with.