This week, a short excerpt from San Francisco TAXI: A 1st Week in the Zen Life…
It’s end of day at ‘ol Citizen’s Cab, and I’ve just checked out at the bullet proof glass. I’m walking with $210.
As I start to head out of the lot, I note an animated scene up on the rustic porch by check-out and decide to stay a second and shoot the shit with some night drivers hanging out there. The porch acts as a break room of sorts and sports a couch and Coke machine up a few wooden steps under a corrugated plastic roof strewn with old top-lights about on top. There’s a night driver, Jack Daniel, up there giving the stories to an avid crowd. I quickly deduce him to be a man of great taste and refinement. Jack is about my age. And he says at one time he was a tour manager for some pretty big-time thrash/hardcore bands. Hey! It seems we probably crossed paths back in the day when my band Dicksister opened up for D.R.I. at the old 9:30 Club in D.C.! Jack comes across as easy, quick-witted and refreshingly un-PC… and he gets away with it. Also doubling as a dispatcher, Jack’s buoyant charms seem to afford him leeway to address female callers-in as “honey”, and even woo them in so doing! (I’ve queried a couple dispatched female passengers on this and survey says it’s all about how you say “honey”.) So, after some various music talk, Jack lays his best cab story on me. It goes a little something like this…
It was a dark and stormy night. And Jack’s out cruising the Mission for fares when out pops a pretty 20-something blonde. He pulls over, and ‘Accepts’.
A somber Ashley gets in back, and directs our boy to her abode in the Castro, before retreating back into a melancholy silence.
But a social Jack, post feeling-out the sitch, quickly cracks the façade and gets Ashley to talking.
They hit it off over the short ride to 17th & Sanchez and Jack is triumphant in lifting Ash’s spirits.
Once at drop, a now energized Ashley pays the meager fare, pauses, and grins all Cheshire-like with an offer,
“Hey. You wanna come upstairs?”
(Well. Far be it for Jack to be rude.)
Once up in Ashley’s flat, she gets right to business dropping to her knees just inside the doorway, and violently unlocks Jack’s chastity belt before diving full-on into a truly earnest blow job.
(“Best tip I ever had,” Jack tells me.)
So, Jack cums in her mouth and Ashley grins ear to ear with her success.
She forgoes any request of reciprocation before sprightly inquiring,
“Hey! Can you take me back to where you picked me up in the Mission and wait for me?”
Jack, a little unsure of the impetus here and sensing something amiss, puts away any hesitation and simply shrugs,
“Sure. Why not?”
(At this point in the story, I have to ask Jack if he turned the meter on for the return trip. He asserts unflinchingly, “Of course I did!”)
So, Ash and Jack drive back toward her original pick-up on Valencia in the Mission with an excited Ash bubbling in back.
At this point, our boy is starting to wonder what he’s gotten himself into. If Ash’s marbles are all in one place.
Once on Valencia, she jumps out of the cab gleefully with,
“Thanks for waiting! I’ll be right back!”
And Jack hunkers down.
Five minutes later….
Ash runs back out, and jumps in the cab bursting at the seams as she blurts out,
“Take me back home!!”
Jack is now convinced a few marbles are indeed M.I.A.
After about a minute of silence, with Jack checking the rear view periodically to witness a giddy Ashley, she finally lets loose,
“I just broke up with my boyfriend!!”
So, Jack acknowledges this information nervously with a simple, ”Uh-huh,” wondering if he is now her boyfriend…
But Ash goes on,
“Ya know how when you first picked me up how I was sad? Well, I went to surprise my boyfriend at his apartment, but found him fucking my best friend on his couch! He didn’t see me and I ran outside freaking just before hailing you.“
And she continues,
“Anyway, I had you drive me back to break up with him. But we made-out super hot and heavy first before I told him. Boy was he surprised! I can’t believe it. He even tried to deny cheating on me! I told him, ‘Don’t fuck with me! I saw you two on the couch! I’M BREAKING UP WITH YOU!’”
And Ashley caps,
“Oh, and by the way… HOW DOES MY CAB DRIVER TASTE?!”
Photo by Christian Lewis