On Friday night my friend Terry and I found ourselves at Club Deluxe in the Haight, where we also met Joe and a friend of his. Not only did we have an enjoyable time chatting over several a Deluxe Spa Collins (I drank three, which necessitated a trip to the pizza joint down the block for some stabilizing carbohydrates), but as luck would have it, we were there on the last Friday of the month... when Deluxe has the Shuckin' and Jivin' Showcase, featuring R&B, jump blues and other stompers from the '40's and 50's all played from 78-rpm records. I admit, I'm uncertain how I feel about the name of this showcase, but the music is great.
I must now stop this narrative and acknowledge that Shellac Shack, another evening of music summoned from the era of the legendary 78, happens five times a month in the Mission and North Beach. I bring this up because I know the DJ who produces that particular listening party, and he introduced me to Shellac Shack long before I stumbled upon Shuckin' and Jivin'.
Okay, back to our story. With an excellent soundtrack in the background, the four of us wiled away a few hours. A gentleman sitting a few barstools away was certain he knew me from somewhere, but I don't believe I've ever seen him before in my life. He was kind of cute and probably very nice, but unfortunately, he had a bit of a creepy thing going on, too. Ah, well. We'd arrived at 8:00 and by 11:30 or so had had enough fun (read: cocktails). Plus, Joey and I both had to work Saturday morning. So the party disbanded, and I hailed a cab home.
And that's where I encountered the Chatty Cab Driver.
In general, I am wary of the Chatty Cab Driver, but I let my guard down for a minute because this guy looked to be about 70 years old and seemed innocuous enough. I believe he was harmless, but he certainly was quick to size me up. Within seconds he took notice of my outfit (a cute Betsy Johnson dress and shoes, along with my saucy H&M trapeze coat), my looks, my demeanor and most likely my diction and asked me what on earth I was doing in the Haight. I told him how much I enjoy the Haight, prompting him to offer that I look more like I belong in the Marina.
If you read this post from a few weeks ago, it will come as no surprise to you that I was slightly horrified.
The Marina? Really? I told my loquacious driver that I much prefer many a neighborhood to the Marina. In response, he informed me that all the rich men are in the Marina... and aren't I looking for a rich man? That's right. When I told him I'd rather have a brilliant man, he concluded out loud that I like them poor but smart. Anyway, we then went on to discuss my ethnic background (I'm Jamaican, Scottish, Native American, Irish, African, French and English, for those of you keeping score at home) and my cabbie's dating habits. He was African American and told me he tends to date Caucasian and Asian women. In fact, he spent time in Asia so he could meet women, in case you were wondering. You weren't? What do you know, neither was I. And may I mention again that he was about 70 years old?
At least he didn't hit on me. Small blessings, I suppose. Believe me when I tell you that I've never been accused of being too nice, but sometimes I simply need not to talk to people at all.