26th September 2001


SATURDAY-NIGHT CAB RIDE HIGHLIGHTS

Me: Can you take me to 2500 Smith Street please?

Cabby: Sure. Lot of gays live in your neighborhood.

Me: Yeah. I guess they do.

Cabby: But you aren’t a gay, are you?

Me: … No.

Cabby: (Smugly satisfied at correct guess.) Me neither. I like gays, it’s my job to like them. But I’m straight person myself, so occasionally it’s nice to see the straight people. You know, you gotta have equilibrium.

Me: I never thought of it that way.

Cabby: What was going on in there?

Me: A dance.

Cabby: What kind of dance? Everybody looks nice.

Me: Lindy. A bunch of people are in from out of town for an exchange.

Cabby: Yeah, you look nice. All dressed up.

Me: (Shifts uncomfortably in seat.)

Cabby: (Leans out window jovially, calls to young guy walking down the street.) I got another one! (Extends hand.) Gimme five!

Young guy: (Pulls eyebrows together).

Cabby: (Motions with hand.) Gimme five!

Young guy: (Gives reluctant five.)

Cabby: That’s the last guy I dropped off.

Me: He didn’t seem too enthusiastic.

Cabby: Yeah, “I want a cab ride, buddy. Not an experience!” Heh….

(Swipes his hand over face, yanks ear, and rubs eye in a single rapid motion.)

(Minutes pass, Cabby talks incessantly in surprisingly intelligent albeit coked-up fashion. I learn he is 53, I learn he attended the same college I did, I learn he lived in Mexico with his wife and son, I learn he is higher than a kite looking for God in a tornado.)

Me: GASP!

Cabby: Wha? (Almost hits another car at a four-way-stop intersection.) Whoa. He blew that stop didn’t he?

Me: No. (Consider getting out of cab for 27th time since I got in. Decide Cabby will follow me up the street and begin to pray.)

Cabby: So what do you do?

Me: I’m an editor.

Cabby: For what?

Me: A little magazine.

Cabby: What magazine?

Me: A little magazine for Web developers.

Cabby: How much does that pay?

Me: Uh…

Cabby: ‘Cause my night vision is going, and I think editing would good for my eyes. That type of thing is good for your eyes.

Me: Actually, it’s really bad for–

Cabby: I have a son, Mark and he’s in school and I proofread his papers. I feel that’s something I can offer him, you know, to take his papers from… you know, to the next level. Like by editing them.

Me: Yeah. I’m on the right.

Cabby: How much do you make?

Me: Uh, about (Can’t believe I’m telling the cab driver my annual salary.)

Cabby: That’s pretty good. How could I get into that, because I do a lot of editing around, you know?

Me: (Gets out of cab.)

Cabby: (Talks at gunfire pace for an eternal three minutes with no pauses for air.)

Me: (Closes door, walks to gate.)

Cabby: (Rolls down passenger window, continues briefing me on his editing skills).

Me: (Nods, closes front door. Locks front door in every manner available. Leans with back to door like character in horrible Julia Roberts flick about a single girl fighting her way through the urban jungle. Has some ice cream to cement the deal.)

4:39 p.m.