1964-07-15 - Changing Points on a Saturday Night
Summary: Kwabena's got himself a new cab, but this one is more of a piece of shit than the last one.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
julie kwabena 

The heat.

Its bad enough on a hot summer day in New York City, but around 5:30, it gets worse anywhere but in shadow. Somewhere on the edge of Little Italy and the East Villahe, there is a garage. It's been recommended, and fortunately, it rests in shadow.

A 1961 Checker Marathon rolls up, and by the sound of its chugging engine, it hasn't been well cared for. In the Big Apple, these cabs go through hell, and if they aren't maintained properly… well, the damn thing looks ten years old at best.

Kwabena Odame has a burning cigarette perched precariously at the corner of his mouth while pulling up to the garage. Pop music is playing from the radio, and in spite of the fact that he's wearing a tank top, the dark skinned man is sweating up a storm. Sunglasses remain perched upon his face, even as the vehicle pulls from the harsh late day sunlight and into the shade.

He honks the horn in three rapid successions; New York Cabbie language for 'hello'.

Meanwhile, inside Uncle Sal's Garage, the lights in the shop window and over the two pumps are on. Inside, there's one young lady called Dizzy Bottero, minding the store as it were, and presently stooped behind the high counter teasing at a cat who's being aloof about the uncalled-for-heat-why-don't-you-do-something-Food Lady, etc." The spinning of an engine in front of the bays, if not the honks, has her poking a head up. "Arright, Skiddums, sounds like someone's running rough tonight, so you hold that tought," and she reaches up to flip the shop lights once in an affirmative response before pushing her way on out the doors and coming up to the passenger window of the cab "Ay, how you doing," she says, almost before she even looks in. …Her accent is of New York Italians, and she says, "Emergency pit stop, buddy?"

The driver seems less than enthusiastic about all of this. He looks over to the passenger window, cigarette smoke wafting out of his nostrils. He gives the gal a once over, eyebrows shooting upward. This is who will be working on his cab?


"Yes," answers the heavily accented Ghanaian. "Dis piece of shit -" He pauses, reaching with a free hand to punch the dashboard derisively. "- even more piece of shit den last one."

He flicks the cigarette out the window, asking it on the drive up before drawing another drag. "Last drivah, also piece of shit. No preventative maintenance, no tune ups, no even think he knows what a fucking oil change is!"

Julie nods, then, the girl sort of just laying a hand on the hood and listening a bit, or so it seems, saying, the meanwhile, "She feeling kinda gutless on hills, then?" She sniffs a bit at lingering exhaust fumes, but hrms at certain roughness, and says. "Well, the shop bays is supposed to be closed, but you're not firing on yer three or four cylinder so good, how bout you pull in under the lights there by the pumps and we'll do your points up real quickto get you through the night. We could check yer compression in the morning in case the previous hack burned up your rings."

An expression of surprise forms upon Kwabena's face, one he can't help but hide. "Yeah, it is," he answers, before tilting his head to the side in a partial shrug. With a yank on the gearshift, he puts the thing into motion. Girl knows her stuff, clearly.

The cab rumbles in as directed, after Kwabena flicks the cigarette out onto the street. Once parked, he kills the engine but leaves the keys right where they are, before popping the door and stepping out. He's still sweaty from the heat, but at least now he isn't glistening as much. The white tank top is paired by brown pants that don't look terribly expensive, and a pair of black sandals. The curly hair atop his head is probably in need of a trim, but at least he's kept his face clean. Interestingly, he does not remove the sunglasses from their perch atop his nose.

"Fuck it. I need a night off. Dis thing has been pain in de neck all damn day. Also." He gestures out toward the busy city street. "De city is in foul mood. De peopah more like jerks dan usual." He reaches toward his back pocket for the pack of smokes, and with a frown, he eyeballs the car with disdain. "I miss de old car."

Julie has walked around the back of the taxi, and after sort of guiding back toward where the overhead lights will shine, wafts a bit of the Checker's exhaust toward her nose a moment before coming around. There's a cock of her head, perhaps about the sunglasses, and sort of pats the roof of the car as she comes up. "Well, offhand I'll bet she ain't as bad as she could be: I bet that's valves, not so much rings, so, flathead like this, not too big a job, but this mill could use a good looking over too, if it was bad as you say. Misfire's just making it all worse."

Well, the jargon was certainly on point. Kwabena folds his arms, pack in hand, and simply looks on for a moment or two, smirking. "So, de rumah is true. Dis is de best shop within shove of East Village."

He finally removes a cigarette and pinched it between his teeth, before offering the pack to Diz. "Well, I am… ah, how to say it? Sorry to drop dis on you when de garage is closing. Is not what I design, but." He shrugs, then grins ruefully while retrieving a beat up, old zippo. "Oddah cab? Melted by flying mutant."

Julie glances up again. "Flying cab-melting mutants, now? What'll they think of next, I guess." She nods thanks and waves off the smoke for now. "Anyway, pretty hard to break these straight sixes, but that's why people abuse em. These single-pumper carbs'll vapor lock at the drop of a hat, some of em, but it don't take much to keep em up right either. Let me get a couple things, though, would you?"

"I do not joke," the Ghanaian answers, his tone serious in spite of the smirk. He then gestures her off, while slipping the zippo and pack back where they came from. "Sure, sure, kiddo." The slang rolls off awkwardly. "Do what you do."

Julie smirks, and says, "Well, I guess you never know what them mutants could do. Sounds like tough luck, though. Every time aliend from planet Asgard or someone attacks, usually we clean up the wrecks later and all, is what that is." She darts back inside and behind the counter, and comes back out of the shopfront, after retrieving a couple of small boxes, as an afterthought, a rather second-hand-looking ignition wire, and …a screwdriver. "All right, cause we love changing points on Saturday night just for you, " she smirks. Pops the hood release from the grille, and raises the thing, hauling up on it owing to her size. "You changed oil on this since you had her, anyway?"

"Planet Asgard." Kwabena shakes his head. "I do not know. What I know is, dese streets and bunch of angry, ungrateful peopah." He smiles again, albeit sarcastically. "New York, New York!"

The man begins walking around a bit, kind of eyeballing the shop a bit as he goes. Once his back is turned to Diz, he reaches up and removes the shades, pinching his nose with the hand not holding a cigarette. He does so only when his eyes are out of view.

There comes a quiet laugh. "Yeah, well, thank you. Kwabena can make up for it, buy you a beer." At the query, he shakes his head. "No, de thing just came to me yestahday. Like I said, old cab melt… shit."

The sunglasses clatter to the floor, sliding over toward the cab. It's unlikely that anyone else would have noticed, but for a brief moment, something remarkably odd happened to Kwabena's hand. A transformation of sorts, turning flesh and skin into something more like gooey liquid, before it snaps back into the shape of a hand again.

He turns quickly, looking for his shades, but pinches his eyes shut again, quickly. Must have been a trick of the eye, but his eyes look to be some kind of a silver color, glowing like those of a feline.

Julie nods, "Just pay my Uncle Sal for the parts tonight, ain't nothing, really, sounds like you want some real work done anyway, and we don't mind a regular… Whoops…" When the glasses fall, unfortunately, perhaps, Diz *does* look, at least enough to notice some of the weirdness. She glances back toward the shop windows. "Ah, hey, don't worry bout it, you're all right here pretty much. Just, ah, don't melt nothing else, all right?"

Kwabena's face is drawn into a line of discontent, until Julie tells him not to worry. He considers it for a moment, before carefully opening his eyes and looking her way. "I don't… melt shit," he defends. "Dat was truth. She was flying, and melting shit, and wearing…" He motions around. "What is it. Tights." He shakes his head then, and dismisses the sunglasses for a moment.

"So, what is it. You ah one of dese… mutant rights activists?" He takes a drag of the cigarette, glancing from Julie toward the garage bay door with no shortage of paranoia.

Julie shakes her head a little, there, "Eh, I dunno if you'd say that, just maybe I don't appreciate how some folks treat other people, for one reason or another, let's say." She glances about again, then pulls out an angle-headed flashlight that she sets down to shine on the Checker's distributor. She points toward the north, roughly. "Mutant Town ain't far that way. My Papa sure didn't get croaked in Europe before he really saw my face just so some mooks could play Nazi over mutants, right in the old neighborhood, did he? Just, ah, you know how it is, about that and other stuff, right?"

"Yeah, I know about M-Town," Kwabena answers. "But I…" He shakes his head again, then walks over and snatches up the sunglasses again. "I prefah to let my secrets be my secrets." He fixes the shades back on his face before taking another drag from his smoke. "It's bettah dat way," he adds, with a touch of rueful determination.

Out comes his wallet next. "How much will I owe Sam for all dis?" he asks, and begins unfolding some bills to count.

Julie smirks a little. She's winkling in new points, occasionally sending an askanse glance at one or two of the fussy little things before flinging it aside, the glance implies the particular little parts that must be very-disapprove-of-able. "Let's call it four bucks and we'll rough out your timing a lot better before you go. And, well, who's telling any secrets?" She adds, "Just you better bring this in in the morning for oil and a better looking over. If you really had a bum engine I'd have been smelling antifreeze, probably." She fusses with, essentially things inside the distributor, then, with an occasional 'would you lookatthis,' about one bit or other. But that seems to be rhetorical. "Anyhow, I know there's this guy, that you could talk to, about the other thing, maybe could help you get it so's you can handle it better." She eyes ignition wires with the aid of her flashlight, and clicks the distributor closed. Puts her scredriver onto something right next to it, and says, "All right, start her up, let's see where she wants to be for timing, now."

One by one, Kwabena pulls out the singles. He does pause for a moment when the girl mentions knowing a guy. He looks up from beneath his shades, doubtful.

"Yes. I know peopah, too." It's loaded with enough sarcasm that the words are virtually dripping with it.

"That was fast," Kwabena remarks before turning over to the door and sitting down, so that he might fire the car to life. "Hey. Hey dat… dis is sounding bettah, yes?" he asks over the engine. It's not quite a purr, but at least it's lost that reproachful rumble.

Julie is, meanwhile, just turning the distributor carefully, before tightening something down and, then at a thought, turning a couple of carburetor screws. She nods at what Kwa says and leans up over the fender again. There, she just pulls on some throttle linkages and makes the engine rev again from where she is, and adjusts again. Then reappears, bouncing a bit on her feet as she comes back to the window, "Now, that's better. But you still really ought to come in for at least an oil change a look at your valves, all that: who knows what you just inherited, but like you said… Ain't been treated right, this big girl." She leans on the doorframe. "Just, ah, listen, there's people you could talk to. And, well, there's a lotta cabbies won't go to Mutant town, and they got Mamas living there, too, if you felt like dropping in. Maybe meet some folks there.

Kwabena steps out of the car again, cash in hand. He offers it over with a smile. "Yes, yes. I will bring it in, and here. Because you ah fast and efficient."

Julie will notice there are two extra dollars there. His expression sobers.

"Listen to me. Is not… about dat oddah thing. Is dat I do not want peopah to know of it." His mouth is drawn into a line. "I will tell you. I do not… I do not die. I was in de cab when it melted. Now what do you think some peopah would do with me? Hmm?"

He sneers a bit and shakes his head. "I will not be some… tool of war, or of de govahnment. Or a… a fucking lab rat. So, you keep dis extra money, so not to speak of Kwabena. Yes?"

He finally steps away and back toward his car door, only there he pauses. "Oh, and, if you see dis dog, trans…" He's looking for a word. "Trans… change into mean, nasty beast? Run away, run fast."

Julie will notice shortly the extra dollars, but as for the moment, she isn't counting. She does seem to take a minute to process, or try to, whatever Kwabena's describing. "Yeah, no government or nothing like that, that I have on good word."

Julie adds, "Ah, I'll do that about any nasty beasts," and, funny enough, makes a familiar gesture for American girls of the time, like drawing an X over her heart quickly. "And you don't gotta pay, mum's the word, if that's what you ask. I guess, just, you wanna meet that guy I know, try the Eight Ball before rush hour, maybe on a Thursday: I kinda help some of the kids with some schooling they missed around then most weeks. Or just leave a note for Dizzy."

Kwabena nods his head slowly, eyeballing the mechanic for another moment or two before turning back to the car. "Okay, well. I'll… be by in de morning," he says, before climbing into the cab and backing out.

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