2011 06 01: Driving in New York

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Mission Name: Driving in New York
Date of Mission: June 1, 2011
Locale: Hell's Kitchen and Greenwich Village

Coming from work, Geoff helps a lost Tamara and gets an invite to a club opening in return.

Geoff Tamara

Loud drunken ruckuses are not exactly rare in New York City around last call soon, but the voices that are volleying back and forth at the moment have an odd quality about them, perhaps. "BECAUSE if I leave the good remover y'all bitches steal it all when I'm on stage!" someone is saying. Shouting, really. There are some indistinct noises of protest. "Hell no, don't even try and front, I know you can't buy your own because they don't sell that shit at K-Mart! I need to wash this rank-ass dress anyway!" The one shouting makes his way out to the street through an alley, his conversation partners left behind him. He's got a reusable grocery bag dangling from one hand, stuffed with what looks like clothes. He's wearing a stick-straight blonde wig, about fifty pounds of makeup, a bubblegum-pink sequined dress, with matching gooey lipstick in the same candy shade slathered on (expertly), weaving slightly on clear plastic platforms that surely aren't sent to the Payless in his size.

Coming from one club and on her way to another, Tamara has somehow taken a wrong turn and managed to get herself lost. She's leaning up against her Audi TTS Roadster - blue convertible, as promised - dialling her cell phone with mounting frustrating as every call just keeps getting bounced to voicemail. This isn't the type of neighbourhood where she's going to leave her pride and joy unsupervised, but at the sound of approaching voices - even ones that are shouting about bitches and K-Mart - get her to look up with some degree of hope. "Excuse me!" she calls out to the … woman? Suffice to say, she doesn't recognize Geoff right away.

Geoff looks over at the call and squints under enormous fake eyelashes. "/Barbie/?" he asks, "Is it really you?" His voice is pitched upward a just a little to go with the dress. Looking past Tamara and noting the car, he grins. "Shit, there it is, the Dream Car, as advertised. You came to give me a ride, huh?" Unlike the other night, he's got a jocular, high-energy quality about him. Maybe it's because he's drunk. He gestures at himself. "Look—I'm you!" he announces, looking back up at her and lifting his eyebrows to see what she thinks of that.

Tamara tilts her head to one side as she squints at Geoff, having a little trouble reconciling those references with the figure before her, but it only takes a few moments for the shoe to drop. "Well, look at you. Nice shoes," she replies with a cool nod, hanging up on the voice mail message coming through her phone's speaker, and dropping her hand back to her side. "If you're going to be me, you need to have the right accessories." She glances back over her shoulder at the car, giving it a fond little pat above the door handle.

Geoff lifts an eyebrow. "Wow, you're offering me your car?" he asks. "That's so sweet, but I couldn't /possibly/ accept. I never drive in the city, you know," he says, affecting a blue-blooded Savannah accent for some reason and putting a hand to his chest. Then he drops it. "What happened, you run out of gas?"

"Slow down there, Mini-Me," Tamara replies with a smirk, at all this talk of giving him her car. "Damn right you can't accept. This here is my pride and joy and nobody is coming between us and living to tell the tale." But the threat is tossed of easily, more in jest than like she is actually going to get violent. "I'm lost. Apparently. Unless this dry cleaners is secretly one of those underground clubs," she replies, nodding to some tiny mom-and-pop place along the storefronts.

"Mini-Me?" Geoff asks, pulling back as though insulted. "Bitch, please. I'm Godzilla in these shoes." He gestures around. "This here is Chelsea-Clinton. Bet you never knew how many people wanted to be in Chelsea Clinton, huh?" he asks, laughing at his own crude joke. "Gimme a ride and I'll give you directions."

"Figured it was better than Wannabe, but your pick," Tamara tosses off with a one-shouldered shrug as she glances around the area. "Never knew I'd end up in her by mistake. Talk about your wrong turns…" She considers the car a moment, considers him, and then nods. "Best deal I'm likely to get around here. Get in. And you might want to buckle up." She straightens up, pushing away from the side of the car so that she can turn and clamber in herself.

"Ooh," Geoff says, rounding his lips and turning his head so that he's looking at Tamara doubtfully from the corners of his eyes. "You better be nice if you want good directions." Still, he doesn't hesitate to hop in the front seat, putting his seatbelt on. "I always buckle up, Barbie," he tells Tamara. "You ever been in a car wreck?" He shakes his head as if to say that it's not fun. "Okay, where we going?"

"You better give good directions if you want to get home," Tamara replies with a careless laugh as she slides into the drivers seat, fastening her own seatbelt as well. "I like to drive fast, but the city really isn't very conducive to that," she adds, checking herself in the rearview mirror before readjusting it and sparking the car back into life. "Club's in the Village," she notes, already beginning to put the car into motion while she awaits the first bit of direction.

"Okay…" Geoff says, pausing to think, then points down the street. "Turn right there," he advises. "You better watch it driving fast in the city," he cautions. "'Specially in a convertible… Had my accident in a firebird. Big-ass engine saved my life, probably, but those old windshields just cut the shit out of you…" He must be drunk, babbling like that on a tangent. "Go left at the corner."

"Thankfully, I'm a really good driver. Plus we all have to go sometime," Tamara says without much concern, and indeed, her driving is perhaps a bit fast and loose for someone aiming not to get into an accident. She takes the right sharply, managing to squeeze in before another car can take the intersection. The left turn has her veering across the oncoming traffic - but with just enough time to spare. "Anyway, my baby wouldn't do me wrong."

Despite his tales of an accident, Geoff doesn't seem all /that/ concerned with her driving, although he looks over his shoulder at the car they pass, then puts a hand on top of his head so as not to lose his wig in the breeze. "You don't always die, you know. I was just picking glass out of my chest for a month. If it'd got my face, I guess I'd have to be a janitor or something. So what do yousecond leftwhat do you do?"

The second left is taken with about as much care as the first, although Tamara does bother to signal this time - granted, she's already partway into the turn, but points for effort at least. "All the more reason to drive fast. I'd sooner die than be ugly." She says it with a straight face too. "I'm a consultant. Emergency management. What can I say, I like the rush." She cuts a quick glance to the rearview before looking again to the road ahead. "But I'm between gigs right now, so I have a good time until the money runs out. I actually haven't been in the city long." Hence the getting lost.

"What's 'emergency management' mean?" Geoff wonders, then peers at an approaching street sign. "You want me to give you directions to the Village first, so you see where you're going, or you want to drop me off and then I tell you the rest?"

"Depends how much you want to help a damsel in distress, I suppose," Tamara replies with a smirk. "I can drop you off and wing it though, if you're in a rush." She then refers back to his previous question. "Basically when companies get screwed up more than usual, they call me in to tell them how to fix it. I can't really get into specifics, since the NDAs would take me up the posterior, but that's the gist, anyway. If I do my job right, you never even notice they had a problem in the first place."

"I'm free," Geoff answers, smiling. "Take a right." That instruction given, he tries to listen to what she's saying to him. "I still have no idea what it means," he admits, smiling. "But I don't know what an 'NDA' is, either. Guess that's why every job wants a college degree. You have to learn a whole new set of ABCs."

"Probably just as well. If I tell you too much, I'd have to kill you," Tamara deadpans again as she takes the right turn. She spares a glance down at her phone, but there are no return calls. "Nondisclosure agreement," she adds, explaining the acronym. "Means I can't talk about it or they can sue the pants off me. And I happen to like keeping my pants." Granted, she's wearing a skirt right now, but the point remains valid. Especially since she's not talking about literal pants here. "Anyway, college is… Well, it's cliche to say it's overrated, but there you have it. Success is all about making the right connections."

"Yeah, I bet they're Ralph Lauren," Geoff says, looking at a building they pass. "Okay, if you keep going straight on this street you'll at least be in the Village. I don't know what club you want, though…" He glances at Tamara, smiling and shrugging. "I'm no networker," he says. "And I don't know how to do /anything/ anybody wants to pay convertible money for."

"At the very least," Tamara says, of her pants, growing a little distracted as she begins thumbing through her phone to look up the name of the club. "It's new… Hasn't actually opened yet, not to the public…" She replies, as though maybe this will help him know it, or maybe help in her search. "Anyway, networking is easy. You just talk to people. Find out what they want. And then you don't quite give it to them, but you give them enough that they keep bringing you back for more." She finally locates the address and reads it out to him.

"Jesus, watch the road," Geoff says, putting out a hand as though he might take the wheel, but his hand doesn't come any closer to it than six inches away. At least he isn't wearing absurd press-on nails or anything like that. His are bare and clipped short. "Okay, one more left, then, and it'll be on the left," he says. "So I'm the 'public,' huh?" he asks with a slow smile.

"Oh it's fine," Tamara assures him, glancing up in time to scoot the car around a bit of garbage blowing in the street. "Anyway, we needed the address." She glances over at him, now that she's done with the phone - although that still isn't exactly watching the road. "You're the public right now. Unless your name is on the list, which I'm not going to assume one way or another. I just happen to know a guy who knows a guy." She pauses and then concludes, "Networking."

"My name isn't on shit," Geoff says. "And it's all good for you to say 'networking' when you've got what important people want." He glances over at her. "But when you don't have shit, then nobody wants what you got." He bends down and digs a pack of cigarettes out of his bag. "That's it on the left, probably," he says, getting one out.

"Then you have to make them want you," Tamara replies, as though it's really just that simple. She slows down (finally) in order to cruise past the club, giving it a carefully look. "Yeah, that's it. Thanks!" Her joy is short-lived though as she looks around. "I am never going to find parking here, am I." She expels a sharp breath of frustration at this city at it's stupid traffic, but that passes quickly too. "So, now I owe you a ride home. Unless… I mean, I could maybe get you in, if you want, but I tend to operate solo."

"No, you're not gonna get parking," Geoff says flatly, as though it were foolish to even dream of such a thing. "Five million people, you think they got curb space for all that?" He smiles. "And yes," he decides. "I want in. Promise not to cramp your style."

Tamara considers him for a moment and then nods. "Okay. Then help me find somewhere to leave my baby where she's not going to get jacked or booted," she replies, drumming her fingers lightly against the wheel as she swings around the block, looking for any sort of valet or underground lot. "I hate cabs and I don't do mass transit," she adds, even though he didn't really ask why she brought the car on a night out.

"Too good to sit your ass with the 'public,' huh?" Geoff asks, smiling. "Okay, hold on." He pulls out his phone, which is sadly only a phone of average intelligence and totally insensible to touch, but has a slide keyboard. The phone matches this look much better than the wifebeater-hoodie combo. He types something in. "Okay, there's a garage around the corner to the right," he says. "You don't want to park this baby on the street, anyway."

"Damn right," Tamara replies without the slightest bit of chagrin. "Besides, I'm paying a ridiculous fee to garage the thing, so I'm going to use it." Even if it means paying yet more when she goes out. She continues cruising along the street while Geoff works the magic on his phone. She cuts the corner to the right and brings them along to the garage. "No, this is definitely not a street parking sort of car." So she is pleased with the garage, getting a ticket and leading them down into it, in search of an open spot.

Geoff grabs his grocery store bag full of his clothes. "And what are your little non-public friends gonna say when you walk in with me?" he wonders, frowning at the tote but shrugging at last. "Besides that you have excellent taste in dates."

Tamara backs them into a parking spot that seems to be well protected, with a pillar on one side and a massive SUV on the other, giving her tiny sports car some shelter from passing traffic. "Honestly? I have no idea. I guess we'll find out," she replies as she cuts the engine. "It's not exactly the weirdest thing I've been up to, anyway. Although you might be the first not-so-Mini-Me that I've picked up," she grants.

"Betcha 90 percent are too chickenshit to say anything in the first place," he says cheerily, getting out of the car. He bends down to fix his wig in the rear-view mirror. "They prob'ly won't see the resemblance. /My dress/ isn't worth somebody's rent." He sets off at a pretty good pace for the street and then the club, despite the uncomfortable-looking footwear.

"Now, now. Don't be jealous," Tamara teases smoothly as she puts the automatic top up on the car so that it can be securely locked and armed. That done, she steps out of the car and presses the button on the remote, the car giving a diligent beep-beep in return. "Anyway, it's a trendy sort of club. Those people who will even deign to notice will probably think its avant guard or cutting edge. Hell, tell them you're an artist and they'd let you smear them with Vaseline just to have a story to tell tomorrow."

Geoff laughs at Tamara's joking advice. "'Don't be jealous,'" he repeats, chuckling at that, too. "That's a good one. Nobody drives that kind of car who /doesn't/ want other people to be jealous. Can't wait to see how you get me in, by the way."

Tamara glances back at her car with a smirk, unable to entirely argue with the logic on that one. Still, she does note, "It's pretty." Turning back to face forward, she offers a shrug. "I have my methods. I can be quite persuasive when it suits my needs," she informs him, keeping an air of mystery about the whole thing - although that seems to be at least somewhat in jest. Maybe.

"Well, if it was ugly, people wouldn't be jealous, now would they?" Geoff points out, smiling at Tamara's claims of secret bargaining power. Though he barely managed a whole expression the other night, tonight he's all smiles.

"I don't know. People get jealous of all sorts of things," Tamara points out smoothly. "But their issues really aren't my problem. Wait here," she instructs as they approach on the club, intending to leave him a few yards away from the door unless he insists on following her to the man with the clipboard so that she can work on getting them past the proverbial velvet rope.

Geoff waits where he's told, finally lighting up that cigarette, although he gives Tamara one suspicious look that isn't entirely smoothed out by all that makeup. After all, she could easily slip inside and leave him high and dry. Or maybe he's suspicious about something else.

Tamara refrains from giving him the slip, even though it seems to take some amount of bargaining with the clipboard man in order to make her case. His other suspicions, well, those may just have to remain for now. But eventually, she does make her way back over to him. "If anyone asks, you're a Swedish pop star. Actually, you don't speak English, so don't say anything to anyone until we're inside," she amends without missing a beat.

Geoff smirks at Tamara. "Danke," he says easily enough. He may not know whether Swedes say 'danke' or not, but he seems to figure it's unlikely that the bouncer does, either. But after having said that, he really does keep his mouth shut until they get inside. And once they're in, he keeps his promise, and disappears in the crowd, leaving Tamara to work her own magic alone.

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