Last night, after a failed attempt and meeting and greeting new and “interesting” people, I found myself walking in the general direction of home down Ben Yehuda St, strangely avoiding simply hailing a taxi to take me home. Maybe I was trying to hold on to what was left or salvageable of this disastrous night, maybe I just wasn’t ready to admit that it was time to go home and the night had been a bust. Either way, on I walked.
At Gordon St., I made a right. Then, a left onto Dizengoff. Still, I walked. Past bars, past coffee shops, past 24 hr mini marts; past people drinking, people gazing into each others’ eyes, people walking down the street towards a destination.
I texted Ben: this is such a weird night..
Ben texted back: Sorry babes, can’t talk. Call you tomorrow?
Inner monologue: He is busy, naturally. Ouch. OK. Sababa. But, “babes?” Is that an indicator? He won’t call. Let it go.
And with that, I turned towards the street and hailed a cab with a heavy defeated sigh. The night was over and it was a disappointment.
A cab pulled up to me, and I got in. The cabbie was nice looking and soft spoken. In Hebrew, he asked me something that I assume was “where do you want to go?” When I started to answer in Hebrew, he stopped me and said “Do you speak English?” Well, yes, I do. And from there, our 25 minute friendship was born.
Shoron, the cab driver, offered me a cigarette and as we drove, we discussed relationships. We talked about Israeli men, American women, casual relationships, serious relationships, and everything in between. I found myself strangely opening up to this cab driver about my romantic situation (or lack there of). He eventually told me that he’s 33 and also single. Then, maybe it was just me, but I swear I sensed the mood change in the cab.
After some conversation about how taxi drivers have very busy brains and are excellent multi-taskers, how Shoron believes it is his responsibility to take care of his woman and you need time and money for that, how Israeli men are stubborn and not good at talking, we pulled up at my destination. Home-Sweet-[Temporary]-Home. It was at this point that Shoron says “Here, take my number and if you ever need a taxi, you can call me.” I took his number. And I had the urge to give him mine, although I didn’t. What would I have said? At least he had a reason for giving me number, even if it felt like a front.
Will I call? No. But, when I got out of the cab, it occurred to me that the 25 minutes I spent talking with him on the way home, were the nicest 25 minutes of my whole night. Maybe all was not lost last night, after all.