New Year’s Day 2016, 4:33 a.m. I picked up a guy in my cab, a young hipster dude. He said he’d been up all night building web sites. He’s a web designer, freelance, yeah, pretty cool, he’s doing really well. He wanted to go down to an all-night coffee shop, said he was gonna buy some “Bitcoin” from a guy there. He couldn’t believe I’d never heard of “Bitcoin.”

“Bitcoin is the only currency you can rely on these days,” he told me. “It’s a kind of crypto money, so when the whole system goes to pot and the dollar is worthless, people with big coin won’t have to worry.”

“What if the computers go down with the whole system?” I asked.

He chuckled.

“Well, if you’re in-the-know, you have a backup,” he told me. “I could explain it to you, but we don’t have the time.”

I took him down to the all-night coffee shop and he wanted me to wait for him. In a few minutes, he came out smiling. Then I took him back home.

At his apartment building, he tried to pay the cab fare with his debit card. The card was declined. It said “insufficient funds.” He pulled out another and that was declined too, message reading, “Do not honor.”

“I don’t accept Bitcoin, sorry,” I said.

He said he’d be right back with some money, hopped out and ran into his apartment. He never came back. I could have called the cops, but the last time I did that, they didn’t show up for three hours. I could have pounded on his door and played the tough guy, but I didn’t have the energy for that. I just said fuck it and drove away. $28 in the hole to start the new year.

I turned the radio to the George Strait marathon on 99.5 and hoped the world wouldn’t end before they played “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls.”


This is an excerpt from Mather Schneider’s new memoir, 6 to 6. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.