High above the city, on the rooftop of the Gansevoort Hotel, I had never felt so low. At 33, I had just been dumped and was attempting to fill the void with tequila and dancing. When I took a break and reached for my iPhone on a nearby table, I discovered that it had vanished. iPanic washed over me as I rushed out, placing my hope in Apple's "Find my phone" app.
At home on my laptop, I indeed found my phone-heading slowly through Hell's Kitchen. Shocked, I lunged for my landline and dialed my number. To my astonishment, someone picked up. "Um?I think you might've found my iPhone at the Gansevoort?" I chirped sweetly.
"Maybe," she answered.
"Who's?this?" I stammered.
"Christina. Who the hell is this?" she eloquently replied. Reeling, I shifted into Kill With Kindness mode. "I'm Lindsey and it would mean everything to get my phone back. I will come wherever you are with a $100 reward."
She responded: "$300." "That's too much!" I bristled. "Well, if you hadn't left your phone lyin' around like some dumb bitch you wouldn't need it back," she retorted.
She had a point. I downshifted into Eat Crow Mode. "Yes, I screwed up and left my phone. But wouldn't you want yours back? $200 is all I have."
"51st and 11th," she acquiesced. I told her I'd jump in a cab, but since I live on the Bowery, it would take me 25 minutes to get there. "Hurry, I gotta drive back to Jersey," she slurred. Oh good, another safe driver in Manhattan, I thought.
I scrawled her number on my hand, grabbed quarters and raced out, still in my stilettos. I hailed a cab and asked the driver to take me straight to Hell-and step on it.
Even at 11:30 p.m., traffic was atrocious. I arrived 24 minutes later at a Christina-less street corner. I thought about giving up. Then, I thought about giving up my 1,112 contacts. Locating a rare pay phone, I dialed the digits on my hand. She answered.
"You took forever, I hadda leave."
Was she just playing me now? She informed me she was now getting her car from a garage on Christopher and 7th. "I could be there in 15 minutes," I offered. She sighed, exasperated.
"Fine," she relented. "I'm in a Silver Camry. HURRY your ass up."
I flew into the street for a taxi. We hit traffic again, now at 12:30 a.m. I cursed the roads. Cursed my ex for leaving me alone to deal with a phone-snatching drunkard. Cursed myself for not backing up my iPhone. I willed the taxi to become a hovercraft and fly me to the West Village.
At the garage, I bolted inside. Breathless, I asked the attendant if he'd seen a girl in a Camry. "She just left," he said. I broke down. I had already been dumped by my boyfriend, now I was being rejected by an over-served mean girl. I asked to use the garage phone and I called my phone-napper yet again, attempting to sound breezy. "Hey, I'm at the garage but you left?"
"You were too slow."
I wanted to scream abhorrent words into her eardrum, but my mother's Texas drawl sang through my head-You catch more flies with honey, honey. I breathed deeply. "Where are you now?"
"I don't live in this stupid city?maybe 7th and 12th?"
So close, I could be there in three minutes! "Sorry, I really gotta get to Jersey," she countered. I started crying hysterically.
"Christina (sob), ?I've chased you around the city?I just got dumped (sob)?I'm so miserable?"
"Men are morons!" She exclaimed. Ah ha, I thought! A universal theme! I rolled with it.
"Yes! Men are morons!"
"I'm kinda hungry?" she tested me.
"Me too! There's pizza nearby," I offered. "Sold," she answered. Followed by, obviously, "HURRY."
I sprinted (in my heels) around Greenwich Avenue and finally caught sight of my Jersey Princess in her Camry chariot, complete with teased hair and fuchsia dagger nails. My tear-streaked face probably resembled a Sephora ad on acid, which made for an awkward hello. She offered me my iPhone, along with a menthol Capri. Exhausted, I shrugged and lit up. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
The pizza place was closed, so I found myself in my cell captor's car en route to Mother's Ruin in Nolita. As we wolfed down delicious duck wings, I realized that I no longer needed to be nice, but I didn't mind. Christina was acting as if she'd been in my contacts folder all along, like we were just some girlfriends gabbing. It occurred to me that, despite her cruel scavenger hunt, she had kept answering my phone calls. Maybe she was just lonely? I could relate.
I picked up the $21 bar tab. Christina never demanded her $200 reward.
She did compliment me on being a "stylish, hilarious girl" and texted me later to see if I wanted to hang again sometime. "Definitely," I said.