The Great Drive by Punching

Archive. Oh to be young again

Editor’s Note: has recently dedicated a lot of thought to the idea of creating a narrative for his site. He likes his individual pieces, but he wanted to find a way to string together a series of articles for those who were new to the site or for those who wanted to explore a bit more thoroughly. Sure, the search option in the top corner of the front page works. Sure, he also tries to link old stories beneath some of the similar newer ones. Atop the first page, he created sections like entertainment, photos, etc. It’s all golden. Yet, is inexhaustible and he wanted more. So he came up with the “In Between Cabs…” section. has been in his share of cabs. He’s been in European Mercedes’ cabs. He’s been in the old yellows. He’s been in cabs in foreign countries where it’s fairly standard to have to write down the address or otherwise you’ll end up somewhere disastrously. More than anything else, he just has some pretty bleepin’ weird cab stores and, most importantly, he recognizes traveling is what happens in between cabs.


Chapter Two: Friends and Benefits.

Well, because nothing says “Buddy, you will be missed” quite like getting drunk enough for it to even be possible to get punched by the inhabitants of a moving car.

You leave the first bar long after the 6pm conclusion of a benefit for a friend who had passed away, only to go about a block down the road for a Halloween party. People were dressed in Halloween costumes. You aren’t, but it’s more fun to look at them anyway. You take a few shots trying to earn free clothing from a liqueur company even though you know  you will never wear the winnings.

However, this kind of full throttle inebriation can only last so long. Eventually, you must leave and you must do so while looking at your watch and uttering something along the lines of “man, it’s only 10:30.”

So you leave. You leave by yourself because your people have scattered. People no longer have logic. You know one simple fact and that is you have to take the train back to Jersey at Market Street. Your expedition begins.

When you get to Market, do you take a left or a right? Probably would’ve known that just five hours ago, you think.

You made the wrong decision. A cabbie would know and you feet would appreciate the rest anyway. The money isn’t important. It’s the weekend. It’s the big city. So what if you already went to the ATM twice. Live it up, you think. You don’t ponder how your life has reached a point that “living it up” consists of drunkenly getting a cab by yourself a state away from your bed.

You get to the curb and step off onto the shoulder; safe enough to avoid traffic, but off enough to catch a cabbie’s attention. Only you don’t think you’ll be catching anybody else’s attention. You look around and there aren’t any yellow vehicles so you take it easy. You look around and take in the concrete jungle.

Enough of that. You’re ready to see if any cabs are coming down the block.

You turn your head to find a car coming a little too close in your direction. This doesn’t catch your attention too much what with
it being a road and all. It’s the guy – you only notice a black long sleeve shirt – hanging out the passenger side window that strikes you as peculiar. He’s winding up.

This happens in a fraction of a second. First, you squint. Second, you utter the earliest parts of the first curse word – your defualt curse word – that comes to mind. Then you make that ugly face that you make when you don’t have time to do anything else.

Wallop. He hits you in the face. Right in the middle of your turned head. He probably thinks he got you pretty good. Square on. Looking back on it, you realize you were lucky. He gets mostly cheek, missing the eyes, teeth, and only slightly catching the nose.

It’s an odd sensation, that getting punched by a moving car. There’s no fear. You look up and the culprit is already 100 yards away.

Still, there are other sensations that are similar to normal punch related scenarios. It stings for example. Your ear rings like it hasn’t rung since playing football in the snow as a 12 year old. Oh, and your nose bleeds some.

Like the hero of a Kung Fu movie you slowly use your hand to wipe the blood from beneath your nose. Like a baseball batter refusing to
dust off the dirt from his uniform after a brush back pitch, you refuse to do anything else.

Reevaluating, you realize you still need that cab and eventually you’ll still need the train only you’re starting to toy with an alternative in your head.

When the cabbie comes you don’t tell him to go to the station and you don’t exactly tell him your home address either. You just say,”Take me to Jersey.” So it should hit you as no surprise that he takes you nowhere near your house. Yeah, Jersey is a small state, but, well, it’s still a state. By the time you stop licking your wounds, you realize you’re about 25 minutes from home which would cost you an amount you don’t know how to begin to calculate.

So you tell him to stop. Theres a train station about a half a mile away. You know the train isn’t running yet. It’s not quite Saturday night, it’s not quite Sunday morning. You don’t worry about it. Thinking about the train now is like a marathon runner worrying about the last mile when he’s just starting his race.

You stumble your way to the station finding shortcuts through vacant parking lots and dumpster strewn alleys behind shopping centers. Finally, you get to the station and then you worry about train times. You’re thinking about how you don’t have the patience to sit around and wait pondering life’s choices when a white oasis makes itself known on the canvas of dark night.

Later you’ll read that the Holiday Inn website states, “Our 186 nicely appointed guestrooms offer comfortable decor and in-room amenities to satisfy all travelers.” You’re only concerned about having a place to lie down.

At the front desk you order a room. Paying with a credit card, you sign using your left hand because you have blood on your right that you don’t want the guy at the front desk to see. He takes the receipt and you move to your room.

Your night is finally over. You survived. You found a bed and nobody knows what you got yourself into. Turning on the light to you room, you take a deep breath finally allowing yourself to relax. Then you see yourself in the mirror — and the dry blood you unwittingly smeared all over your face. Looking look more like Fogel than Tyler Durden, it occurs to you that you just spent $144 for a hotel 25 minutes away from your house.

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