I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to meet Dr. Balaji...God help me...at the George Washington Bus Terminal. I think it has something to do with him living in the Bronx and wanting to meet me in my neighborhood. The only problem with my neighborhood is that it lacks date spots. And I don’t want to go to Starbucks because (a) it is always over-flowing with patrons and (b) it is kiddy corner from my apartment. On the off chance Dr. Balaji from the Internet is a serial killer, he’s not the type of person I want knowing where I live.
In my designer jeans, black turtleneck and tall boots I stand in the center of the bus terminal looking for someone South Indian and doctor-like. I am also wondering the following: what kind of date begins in a bus terminal? Who suggests this? Who willingly agrees to this? And what the hell is wrong with me?
Normally I wait around for time challenged friends. But today I decide to enforce my tardy policy (leaving after 15 minutes) because I really don’t want to be here. To pass my time I pace back and forth, attracting the attention of a stranger who speaks to me in Spanish. I roll my eyes and defiantly say, “I don’t speak Spanish.” He then replies, “Come talk to me in English.” No thanks, I think and sit down on the other side of the terminal. To further avoid Spanish Stranger I stare at the clock and it tortures me, slooooooooooowly ticking towards 7:15 pm.
When I can no longer look at the clock I take note of the large, open, and un-exciting space --- faux marble floor, kiosks tucked in the corners, wooden seats and a barely audible PA system. Finally, at quarter past the hour I race out of the bus terminal, texting Jack and praying Dr. Balaji doesn’t show up at the last minute.
Text to Jack: I think he is a no show.
Text from Jack: We’re in Hell’s Kitchen. Get on the A train and text me when you get down here.
So I flee.
* * *
Twenty-five hours AFTER we were supposed to meet, Balaji rings and I let the call go to voicemail. If he had to perform a last minute surgery I’ll consider giving him a second chance. Of course I am wondering, how long, on average, does an operation last? Couldn’t he have called in the morning, or at lunch hour? I dial my voicemail and listen. “Allo, this is Balaji. Hoping you didn’t wait too long.”
Seriously? What kind of jackass doesn’t EVEN apologize for knowingly blowing a girl off? Does his mother know he does this? And for the love of Durga, warrior goddess of strength, empower me so I can do this all over again.