I got a call yesterday in my taxi, 409 W. Rudasil Road. I was about five miles away and I dialed the phone number to let the person know I was on my way. A tough guy voice answers, no “hello,” just this: “Turn around, dumbass, you drove right past me.”

“Pardon? This is Matt from Discount Cab.”

“No shit, ‘Matt,’ you drove right past me.”

“I’m five miles away from you, sir; you must have seen a different taxi. There are several of us.”

“Oh, then hurry up, I’m late.”

I pull up 13 minutes later and he’s standing by the road with a suitcase.

“Airport,” he says as he gets in. 52-year-old white guy who was pissed off he wasn’t a millionaire yet.

I know from experience that assholes like this have their own special route to go to the airport and if you don’t go that route they will make a stink about it, but I also know if you ASK them what route they want to use, they will assume you are so stupid you don’t even know how to get to the airport and they will abuse you for that, too.

I ask him: “I usually go down Oracle to Miracle Mile and then to the freeway, but do you want to go another way?”

Big, BIIIIGGGG sigh from the back seat.

“Jesus!” he says. “Just go down Oracle to Grant, take a RIGHT ON GRANT, get on the FREEWAY, and then go down to the Park exit.”

“The Park exit? Not the Kino exit?”

“Shit! The Kino exit is THE LONG WAY! Do you even know how to drive this thing?”

“What town are we in anyway?”

“Fuck! I knew I should have called an Uber!”

I head down Oracle.

After a few minutes, he says, “Take Miracle Mile. Miracle Mile is faster.”

“Whatever you say, boss.”

“Unless you just prefer a hundred stop lights,” he says. “Miracle Mile is faster.”

“By God, you’re right.”

On the freeway, he keeps staring at the speedometer to make sure I’m going at least eight MPH over the limit.

“Where you flying off to?” I say.

“Why, you writing a book?”

“Memoirs.”

I take the Park exit off the freeway. It’s a dumb way to go to the airport; two more stop lights, slower speed limit. But we get there.

“$23,” I say.

“I should get a discount,” he says.

“And I should have never gotten out of prison,” I say.

“Now you know where the airport is,” he says, tossing the bills on the passenger seat. “You’re welcome.”

***

For all installments from 6 to 6, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Traveling Mercies
  2. Next Time, Take Skyline
  3. Suicide Lane
  4. Morenci in My Rear-View Mirror
  5. A Spiritual Adventure
  6. Sonja’s Ring
  7. A Pair to Draw To
  8. Grocery Day
  9. A Day with Melanie
  10. The Hot Light
  11. Drano
  12. The Cab Knows the Way
  13. Dodi’s Luck
  14. Don’t Die Before Your Mother
  15. Bob’s Big Day
  16. Nothing But a Human Being
  17. John’s Dream
  18. God Didn’t Get Me No Weed
  19. Ramirez
  20. What’s Going to Happen to Me?
  21. Do I Look Like an Indian to You?
  22. The Maze
  23. Fun with Ruby
  24. Portrait of the Artist as a Certified Loony