Ride Around the Town


lysette_icon.gif miles_icon.gif

Scene Title Ride Around the Town
Synopsis Lysette discovers that some cabbies are overly friendly and full of advice
Date December 4, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

A scruffy looking dark skinned foreigner, short, slightly spiked, dark hair. He stands a few inches over five and half feet tall, probably weights about one-fifty or one-eighty. He's got dark brown eyes. He appears to be in his late twenties, probably early or mid thirties. He's wearing a brown leather jacket, a Black Sabbath t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and of course, black and red skater shoes. Quite the assemble, albeit probably not that fashionable.

Sitting on the road in his cab next to Central Park, a cabby eats a Philly cheese steak sandwich as he watches the people go by, he waves off somebody trying to get into his cab, “I’m eating, come back in 10.." He smirks mischievously, and continues to finish his sandwich. He then picks up his soda pop and takes a swig to wash everything down. He continues to look around, he then leans over and reaches for the switch, pressing it up and turning on his 'Available' sign on the roof of the cab and just sits there for a moment, knowing that somebody is bound to approach any minute.

Taking advantage of her brother's workaholic nature and absence, the young woman continues her walk down one of the paths near the road. However, upon seeing an 'available' light switch on atop the resting cab she changes course and immediately waves a slender hand in an effort to hail it for her own purpose. Her feet glide gracefully to cross the distance, fairly quick-paced so as to not lose her chance, as Lysette finally reaches the vehicle. Her hand gently tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear as she inquires warmly, "Pardon me, sir, but do you happen to know the way to the Lexington Hill Hospital?"

"No, I don't know how to get around anywhere; I just like to drive around the city until we find it. I make a lot more money that way." The 'cabdriver' Miles says jokingly, chuckling at the young lady, he makes a hand gesture as if giving her something and says, “Here’s your sign."

"Oh man, I love opportunities where I get to use that. Anyways. Hop in." He hooks a thumb to the back and starts up the cab.

"Wonderful, thank you!" she replies with a warming smile before reaching to open the rear door and slipping inside. Her gaze drifts around the contents of the cab with careful observation, making light conversation, "You would not believe how much trouble I have been having trying to find my way around here. So much has changed, sadly, since I was last here." Lysette's voice grows a little softer, her blue depths finally settling upon the driver, "Have you been here long yourself? The city, I mean, not sitting by the curb."

Despite his appearance, he speaks pretty good English, the cabdriver nods his head as he listens, shifting the cab into gear and checking his mirrors before pulling out into the street and taking off. "Mm, yeah, all my life."

The cab is filled with an assortment of trinkets for his choice of religion, Buddhism. Like for example, a little fat man hanging from the rear view mirror. There is however nothing in the back except for the driver's license and name in a framed casing. The license reads Jassim Alshammary Eshkashem, a long name as common for some foreigners.

"So what're you going to the hospital for? Visit a relative or something?"

Her head bobs with a comprehending nod, while her one hand reaches to idly brush against the window to her side, "It's a nice city, or at least, it used to be back in the day. Then again, I suppose most places are simply what you make of them." Lysette flashes a warm smile up to the driver via the rearview mirror, "I'll bet you meet a slew of interesting people in your line of work. My brother would probably rather I not take public transportation at all — citing it as dangerous and the sort, but honestly it's better than trying to find my way around on my own half the time." She pauses for a moment as she leans closer to read the name on the license, attempting to sound it out, "Jazz-eem Al-shammmmmm-ary Esshhh-kah-sham?" A smile of contented accomplishment spreads like wildfire upon her lips, "…sorry if I butchered your name, I was just curious. If I am being too nosey, you can feel free to tell me so. I simply thought you might like a bit of conversation during the drive, but I don't wish to make you uncomfortable or anything."

Cabdriver Miles shrugs his shoulders helplessly, “Sure, if you want to consider them interesting…" He chuckles at that, shaking his head. He looks into the rearview mirror, checking out the lady in the backseat.

"Huh? … Oh…” Miles didn't even think about that! Whew. That was a close call… "Uh, yeah, it's kind of hard to pronounce. You can just call me uh… Miles, how about that, it's probably easier." He smirks a bit mischievously, “So, you got plans later tonight? Or this weekend? Perhaps you'd like to … you know, go on a date. A drink, maybe dinner, who knows, you like to dance? We can do that too."

Trying to keep his eyes on the road and on the mirror — at Lysette — at the same time. Unlike most cabdrivers however, he drives just a bit more slowly and cautiously, and they definitely spend more time IN traffic than weaving around it.

"Miles?" Lysette blinks a little as she looks from the license name to the driver a bit uncertainly, "… Well, it certainly is easier to pronounce, and if you insist then Miles it shall be. I am Lysette, incidentally, though as to later I don't think it would be a good idea." She smiles gently, "I am sure you are a nice man, but picking up men on the street is generally not something I practice. Besides, I hardly think my brother or even your family would approve. Not that I'm saying I worry about approval it's just, well; it would be a bit awkward. But, one can never have too many friends, especially ones who know the layout of the city if that might be acceptable to you?" She glances again out of the window as they pass another street, "Speaking of which, any idea how much longer until we arrive at the hospital? I need to check on a friend of mine and want to make sure I get there before she is discharged."

Miles the cabdriver looks back at Lysette then looks forward, "Mm, whatever. You're choice. Acquaintances, sure. But I'm so not going into that 'friend zone'. That's just lame." His friendly smile quickly fades away at the mention of a friend being discharged, he looks sharply back at Lysette and then forward again. "Hmm… You wouldn't be talking about that lady that uh, escaped the hospital that they found in Central Park the other night would you?"

"Well, I'm notorious for being lame, I have it perfected to practically an art form," the young woman jests with another flash of a smile. Her blue eyes light up brightly with interest at the mention of the incident from the other night, "Victoria Grey, yes. Do you know anything of the incident? I was there, you know, poor woman. She's been through quite a lot and really anyone in her circumstance would have appeared the same. I was hoping to pay her a visit and see if she needed anything." A deep sigh escapes her, followed by a mild grumble, "I really should have done more to help her sooner. She would never have been sent to that place if I hadn't of opened my big mouth. I owe it to her to set things right."

"Well…that's sweet of you and all, but you see uh. I heard on the radio that she's already been dismissed. It happened last night, actually. That's all I know." He shrugs his shoulders, “I’m an avid news follower." He smirks a little mischievously at that. "And lame or not, you're still cute enough to be friends with." He then pulls over to the side and parks the Cab; he turns around to face Lysette. "Well, we're here. Unfortunate. Sorry I had to be the bearer of bad news. But you could always get a hold of her through the Mayor's office I suppose. But anyways…. Would you rather me take you somewhere else instead?"

Eyes widen for a moment at the news of the release, Lysette's features growing awash with what only be described as a crestfallen demeanor. Heaving another sigh she slumps back a bit in her seat, "Oh, I must have missed the bulletin. Damn." The curse falls from her lips softly, appearing almost humorous as she tries to reconsider her options, "The Mayor's office, you don't say? I guess maybe I should try there. I really hate to bother her, but I know I won't be able to rest at all unless I make sure she is fine for myself. At the very least, I can likely leave a message there for her to contact me at her earliest convenience." Pondering her musings out-loud, she finally looks back to the driver — the slow smile again dancing lightly across her lips, "Think maybe you would mind swinging by the Mayor's office, then?"

"Sure thing, Lysette. Not a problem at all." The cabby then spins around in his seat, putting the car into gear and then pulling out and heading towards the Mayor's office as requested.

"Man, I wish I had known that earlier or I would have said something about it sooner, I'm sorry." Miles sighs, looking up into the rearview mirror at Lysette and then back to the road. "So, what is it you do for a living?" Miles glances up into the mirror once more and then says, “If I'm making you uncomfortable, then just let me know." He smirks at that, focusing on the road again.

"It's alright, honestly. I have wanted to ride around town eventually anyways, this is just sooner than later is all," Lysette rationalizes with a gentle tone. The question draws her attentions back to the driver, as she replies sincerely, "No, it's alright, I don't mind the questions. Besides, you indulged my earlier prying it is only fair I offer the same courtesy. Presently, I am in-between jobs and relishing in the chance to actually relax for once without living out of my suitcases and trunks. Though, until recently I was a dancer, professionally." She pauses before adding lightly, "I figure by this time next week I will try and hit the streets in search of a job. But for now, I have so many things I need to catch up on."

"Oh yeah? Where do you plan to job search at? Broadway maybe?" Miles asks, glancing up at the mirror again, he uses his signals and stuff of course while driving, turning here and there, presumably heading toward the Mayor's office. "Would you like to listen to some music?"

Lysette actually laughs at the mention of Broadway, shaking her head with amusement, "Good God, no. Far too many bright lights for my liking. If I wanted that again, I never would have left where I was." Her lips twist a little with thought, "I was thinking maybe something a bit more low-key this time around, maybe I will even open a studio for the arts or something. Right now, I don't really know what I want to do. I've thought about checking out a few of the upper scale restaurants to see if they need a little help in the interim, so I wouldn't have to tap into my savings. I still have a few more checks coming from my last job, so finances are not a real issue. It's just, well; I need to get things in order." The question regarding music eventually seems to boomerang into her consciousness as she adds a bit late, "And sure… music would be great."

Miles nods his head as he listens to Lysette talk about her ambitions and situation. He chuckles at the 'bright lights' thing, he shrugs his shoulders helplessly, “Sounds like a plan, sort of. No big hurry, I understand that." The cabdriver glances up to the mirror again and says, “I have a few connections around town, I could probably help you get something going, I mean, if you wanted my help." He tilts his head to the side slightly, and then looks back to the road ahead; he pulls the cab off to the side next to a building. "Whelp, here we are." He spins around, resting his right arm over the back of his seat as he looks to Lysette, laying his chin on his forearm.

"That's kind of you, but I really wouldn't want to impose. I should be alright. To be honest, I haven't really even started to look yet, let alone do I really know what I want to do. I'm sure something will strike me, it usually does. I try not to make too many plans in advance," Lysette confesses warmly as the cab pulls up to the side of the building. Glancing out the window at her destination, she takes a deep breath and looks back to the cabbie again, "So, how much do I owe you for the trip? I promise I'll throw in a great tip for listening to me babble the whole way. Oh! And if you have a card, I can try and make the effort to make you my regular driver when I need to take a cab."

"Unfortunately, I do not have a card… but I appreciate the thought." He smirks a bit at that, and then he turns to fiddle with his 'money-meter' to see just how much the trip would cost, “That’d be 42 dollars and 78 cents please." No body ever said that a cab was cheap, that's for sure. Did he take the scenic route or something? Maybe. Miles smiles and reaches to open the little window for her to slip the money through.

"Wow…" she laughs openly as her eyes widen at the price, "…well, I guess some things don't change, the price of cab fare." Lysette shakes her head with amusement as she sifts through her purse and removes three twenties and a five — slipping them through the window, "Here you go and keep the change. Thank you, Miles, for the ride, conversation… and just, well, for being a nice driver. Maybe not everything in this city is as lost as I thought." She opens her door and steps on out, turning to add upon a final note, "Drive safely, alright?"

Miles nods his head, "Yeah, thanks…” The driver takes the money counting it quickly and shoving it into a little steel box built into the console. "Will do. Oh! Before you go, you got a number where I can reach you? So we can hang out sometime?" He tilts his head to the side slightly so he can look out the window at Lysette.

Obviously having forgotten all about 'how' to contact the man again, the young woman laughs and nods, "Oh, yes, you need a way to reach me. Just a sec." Lysette opens her purse again and pulls out a pen and after a little longer, a folded piece of paper which she proceeds to tear the corner off of. Balancing the paper and pen against the top of the cab for surface, she neatly writes her name and number upon the paper before passing it back to the cabbie, "This is my cell, which I usually carry with me. If I don't answer, don't worry and just leave me a message. I'm usually good about returning calls but I do forget if there is no message left."

Miles nods his head agreeingly, "I'll try to keep that in mind." He winks at her mischievously and grins “Have a nice day, be safe. And I hope your friend is alright!" He watches her for a moment, waiting for her to back away from the vehicle before he puts it into gear and pulls off into the street, taking off down the road.

December 4th: In For a Pound
December 4th: On a Park Bench
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