– Could you give me a ride, please?
What? A ride? Are you out of your mind? Do you have any idea of how lost I am here? Of course, not! Otherwise, you wouldn´t have asked me for a stupid ride.
Here I am absolutely lost in the streets of the Big Apple and all I want is to find my way to the hotel where I was supposed to be right now. Why have I decided to rent a car? Why didn´t I take a cab as anyone else? How am I going to explain to my boss that I missed the band’ s press conference?
– Would you mind giving me a ride, girl?
Oh, Gosh! And now there is this I-am-a-leather-jacket-rock-star guy bothering me again. Well, this fruitcake will take my loud no for an answer …
– Listen, man, if you think you are
For havens´sake! It can´t be possible! It must be a coincidence… Or a look-alike? I can swear this guy who is asking me a ride is …
– Bono Vox?!
The name of the leader of U2 gushes out from my mouth.
– Oh my God! You ARE THE Bono Vox.
– Thank you for helping me, girl. I am really in trouble – he gently thanks, while getting into my car. – Please, could you drive me to the United Nations building?
United Nations? Driving? I think he hasn´t realized how shocked I am! Even worse, he hasn´t noticed I am not a New Yorker! Nor a local driver. Actually, I am so much under this paradise-is-here moment that I can barely drive. Ok Lila… Come on! Take a deep breathe! Take a deep breathe! Again… And again… I think it is time to explain to him some little but important things.
– I am sorry, but I think I can´t drive you anywhere! First of all, I don´t live here. As a matter of fact, I am from Brazil and I am in New York just to see you… Aahh… I mean, U2… But I got lost and I don´t know how to reach the hotel you were supposed to be in a press conference. So, as you can see, it is almost impossible for me to do this driving thing right now and…
– Calm down, chatty girl! Will you please, shut up? – he interrupts me somewhat annoyed.
His reaction lets me so nervous that tear drops start trickling down my burning face. I guess he can also hear my desperate heartbeat. Oh, no, Lila! Crying? I can´t believe that Bono Vox is sitting by my side in a car in NY and everything I can do is crying and getting anxious! Come on, girl! Do something!
– Oh, no… I am sorry, ok? Please, don´t cry! I need you to be calm ´cause you are now the only hope I have. Let me see how I can put this to you – says Bono adding some tenderness in his voice. – The band press conference has just finished and the hotel is nearby. Please, could you drive while I explain everything to you? – he asks with a bit of anxiety in his voice and manners. – And yes, I will tell you how to reach the UN.
– Ok – is all I can say. Now I am feeling really stupid. Could I try to be a little less dramatic or over-emotional? Crying? It is time to restarted taking my Bach flower remedies… Hummm… Look at this guy! He is yummy, isn´t he?
– Turn left at that sign – he guides me. – As I was explaining…
I love all his sunglasses and he is wearing that huge black one… The one from Elevation Tour. Hummm… He is a little bit overweight… And what about his hair? It seems so dark that I believe he dyes it. But who cares? He is Bono and he is with me right now inside a car in the Big Apple!
– I can´t figure what in hell happened to our driver. It is so weird, you know…. I asked him to be at the hotel by the time the press conference would be finished because he was taking me to this conference at the UN. But he wasn´t there… Nor the car or my stuff. Can you believe that I have no money on me? Shit! Even my camera was there!
Is he saying something about a camera? Good idea! I have to take a picture. Yes!!! Maybe… No way!!! It will be too embarrassing. But who on Earth is going to believe me? Who is going to give credit to a crazy woman telling I-drove-Bono-in-New-York story! Nobody! I will be called a dreamer. Or liar. Or nuts!
– Turn left again… Well, as I was telling you, by the time I noticed I was in trouble I saw you parking your car. So desperate and late was I that I decided to ask some help. By the way, how could I be so rude? I haven´t introduced myself. I am Paul. But you can call me Bono. And you are…
Is he kidding me? Of course I know who he is. The whole world knows his name! Well… If he wants to play this let´s-be-polite game, I won´t let him down!
– I am Lila – I reply gracefully turning my head to him.
– Hey! Look out, Lila! This avenue is not kid´s stuff.
Oops… I almost hit a phone booth. I can feel my heart beating fast again. Ok… Take a deep breathe. Take a deep breathe, Lila…
– Sorry! – is all I can murmur. – You know, I don´t drive in New York everyday. Even less often is driving a showbiz celebrity in the Big Apple. I am a little bit nervous – I confess.
– I see. But you know what? You are doing great, girl! Tonight, when you watch the news, you will feel proud of yourself. You will see how you helped to save the world – he exclaims.
Is he stoned? Has he taken some kind of drug? Saving the world? He is making fun of me, of course! What a disgusting behavior!
– What do you mean? – I ask a little offended.
– Lila, today is a historical day. I am meeting the leaders of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity in the United Nations – he says beaming at me. – They are shaking hands in front of hundreds of cameras and photographers to show to the whole world, as well as to their followers, that coexistence is possible. Isn´t it amazing?” he excitedly exclaims.
– Wow! I am astonished – and I mean it. For a moment I regret my cynical behavior. – What a great moment for the planet! It is your idea, isn´t it? Probably, they are together because of you, aren´t they? – I ponder proud of my logical thinking.
– Yeah… I decided to have both the band press conference and the UN meeting on the same day so I would have all the attention this cause needs. I myself arranged everything. So, I really must arrive at the United Nations on time, Brazilian girl – he proudly finishes.
Well…If I was told about it, I would never believe a single word! Can you see I am on the verge of saving the world? Isn´t it amazing? What would my powerful boss say if he knew it?
– Oh, no! I will be fired! – I cry out. – My God… I have been sent to the US just to talk to your manager at that press conference and I missed it! I screwed it up! I have nothing! No riders. No opinions. No pictures. No information at all. Nothing! I am an unemployd girl – I moan just at the time I see the giant building of the UN in front of us.
– Calm down, Brazilian girl. You have no reason to be worried. Lila, have you forgotten you are driving me in New York? Actually, I still have to thank you for this ride. So, here is the deal. I´ll give you an exclusive meeting with our manager and a photo session with the band right after the conference. Besides, you will also take part in this great meeting I am about to lead. I believe it will be make your boss happy – Bono suggests. – Don´t you think so?
– I really appreciate it – is everything I can say while tear drops rolling down my cheek again. Then, he gently takes my hand and kisses it. I can feel his tongue on my skin. Is he licking my hand?
– I can´t believe it!!!
At the moment these words come out I realize that I am not in a car, but inside an elevator. The hotel elevator… So… Everything was a dream – a daydream! Gosh! It was so real…
– Sorry. I don´t know why he always kisses nice girls´ hands!
Oh, oh… This voice… I can swear it is …
Before I can figure out what is going on, the door opens and the dog which was kind of kissing my hand pulls his owner out of the elevator. I can´t move my body. My lips. My eyes. I can hardly breathe staring at the scene.
– I think I know that man. He seems so familiar… Do you know who he is? – my aunt asks me.
– Yeah, aunt A… I know who that man is – I whisper while the door shuts leaving Bono and my daydream story behind.
Esta story foi inspirada por um fato ocorrido em uma estada minha na Big Apple e escrita em meio a muitas risadas, com a orientação do meu então English teacher Mario Galinatti, nos idos de 2006.