i come to you under the most surreal experience in the history of cab rides in duluth. our cab driver is sitting in a chair in chuck's living room; his son on the couch -- on a break from schooling chuck at guitar hero. the cab driver's dog -- teddy bear? sniffing out the dirty laundry, rat traps, crannies. me? i'm preheating the oven for pizza. i'm assuming they'll be gone before we dig into the pie.
i'm not sure how this happens, other than we live in duluth and are pretty friendly?
we went to quinlan's for one medicinal drink. chuck didn't want to go, and i was pretty emphatic in my use of the word "one." but the fun continued to happen, and so we had another. and eventually we called a cab. and he was like: um. i don't have any available. ... but what the hell ... whatever. i'll pick you up in my camri.
your camri? i asked.
yeah, he said.
okay? i responded.
and they were there, in 15 minutes, like they promised.
"christa?" he asked.
"todd?" i said. like a blind date with the person who's driving you home.
he said he'd stop at the ghetto spur for us. and i remembered that he liked root beer, but non caffinated. teddy bear climbed from my lap to chuck's. that's when i realized his son was in the front seat. a fifteen year old who had just beaten his dad at monopoly minutes before we called and because the game was over, his dad was able to give us a ride. apparently, last time, he gave us a business card with his home number on it. his son's ears perked up when i mentioned that we had guitar hero.
"do you want to play a bit?" i asked.
i assumed he'd say no.
but it was his dad's night off; his 15 year old son who is used to playing a version of this game on his desktop's keyboard ...? a camri? no meter running and a poodle?
"okay," the cab driver said.
here i set a rule: at 3 a.m., we need our night back. todd agreed. and actually stood behind that, coaxing his son away from the guitar he owned for 45 minutes while the stove was heating and teddy bear wandered from room to room, making me fall in love with each little poodle heart beat.
i had things about the night i wanted to write: a conversation overheard outside about the portrayal of women by media; a funny old man with the wrappers from our beef stick buffet wrapped around his neck. then this happened.
stuff i didn't write about:
"you've got your whole post written?" chuck asked.
"well, i had stuff to say ..." i said.
"this kinda writes itself," he agreed.