“Hey, cabbie! Can you turn up the music?”
“Oh, sure,” I grumble and twist the volume knob to the right. At least the hip-hop is drowning out the chuckle fest between the guy and girl. I don’t even want to imagine what they’re doing back there. I just keep my eyes on the road and the side view mirrors, grateful it’s a short ride.
“Hey, cabbie! Take Grove!”
“That was the plan,” I say under my breath.
The guy has been shouting directions in my ear all the way from the Travelodge on Valencia and Market, as if there were more than one way to get to Civic Center.
“Hey, cabbie! Stop here!”
I slam on the brakes in front of the library.
“Keep the change, cabbie!” The guy hands me $6 on $5.90.
“I always like to support you real cabbies. I don’t fuck with Uber, man.”
It takes a few minutes for them to extricate themselves and all their possessions from the cab. Once they’re clear, I speed away and take McAllister to Polk. I’m still grumbling to myself when the dispatch radio crackles to life.
“Drivers, the opera is breaking. They need cabs on the Grove Street side.”
“Sweet!” I make a beeline to Van Ness and catch the light. Before I can pull into the driveway, where a line of people are waiting for rides, two elderly men in matching black tuxes flag me down on the corner.
As they open the backdoor and the dome light comes on, I look over my shoulder and gasp. The seat is speckled with white powder.
“Ahhhh…” I stammer and try to think of a way to deal with the situation. Do I just say something?
Read the rest here.
[photo by Christian Lewis]