The cab leaves me at the corner of Union and Bond. I’m tired. I’m drunk. I’m pretty sure my friend is hanging onto the back of the car, ready to jump off and berate me for leaving the bar early. (It’s 1 a.m.) I look back; he’s not. I reach into my pocket to get my phone and read the text messages he’s sent.
It’s not there. It’s on the backseat of the cab, having slipped out of my pocket for the second time tonight. The cab is a block and a half down the street, picking up speed. Without thinking, I take off running.
I have two chances to catch him: The light seven blocks away and the one two blocks further. Once he takes a left onto Atlantic, It’s “hey AT&T, here’s $500.”
I’m sprinting. I am Jason Bourne. I know I can run for half a mile, flat out, without getting tired. I don’t know how I know this, I just do. I am flying. I’m catching this cab.
Except I’m not. I am Matt Damon playing Jason Bourne, if Matt Damon were a drunk kid, running in skinny pants and skate shoes, rapidly losing wind. There’s no way I’m catching this cab.
I reassess the situation. The cab, now three blocks ahead, looks like it will get stuck at one, if not both, lights. That’s a positive. There’s a kid lazily riding his bike 10 feet behind me. I gasp: “My phone’s in that cab. Can you try to catch it?”
He looks at me. He considers my plea.
He takes off down the street.
I am excited. I sprint faster in solidarity with my new friend and his rusting mountain bike. I’m running fast; he’s riding much, much faster. Both he and the yellow vehicle are disappearing in the distance.
Fatigue sets in. I can barely see. I just focus on sprinting. I don’t know why I’m still running; it just seems important. I’m not paying attention to what’s happening ahead of me. There’s just the pavement and my increasing urge to vomit.
My compromised senses note an object winding its way towards me. I look up. It’s the kid and his bike, riding uncommitted s-curves in my direction. The cab is nowhere to be seen.
He gets closer. Something in his hand is forcing him to ride erratically. My phone.
He hands it over, and I try to give him some money from my wallet. “Don’t worry about it,” he says. “That was amazing,” I pant with far too much enthusiasm. “I kind of lost my car,” he says. “Well, I don’t know if it got lost or towed. I parked it on Union and Bond.” “Can I help with that?” I ask. “Don’t worry about it,” he says, and rides off.
When I finally make it back to the corner, he’s there, riding slowly around searching for his car. He nods at me and shrugs. I nod back, then walk into my apartment. He continues looking.