Articles by Alex Sack

I live across the street from the West Side projects of San Francisco, in an old three flat Victorian. You can still see remnants of the gas flame chandelier in the living room ceiling, from the turn of the century.


The early morning has played out dead. Not one ride. And the worry about the coffee stain has been supplanted with worry over my career.


There is a solitude in driving a cab. Your co-workers are the citizens of your town, as well as those just in for a short visit…


You cut me off, HARD, as I was crossing Mission Street on MY green. But you were sure to make quick eye contact through your shiny wraparounds first. And that curl on the corner of your smug face… Was that a smirk?



Rolling up on a dark, quiet, residential 463 Eureka, I witness what looks like the soft glow of a taxi top-light, slowly coming into focus… It is a taxi top-light. And it’s attached to another taxi. One that’s waiting right in front of my order.


Barnes, “No, sir. I’m a Christian. Marijuana is not allowed. I have a prescription for Oxycontin, which I need to re-up.” Barnes continues, “What with all of my ailments, my REAL problem is where I live. It messes with my head.


It always starts with the weather. But don’t be fooled. It’s like that glee club retreat back in high school, where everyone’s in the main lodge cabin seated all Indian-style…


5am, and the magic “Start” button on 137 brings her display panel beeping to life out in the lot of ‘ol Citizen’s Cab. I hold my breath as my Prius taxi’s gas…


I began writing these taxi stories a few years ago as a way of keeping in touch with my aging, published author mother back on the east coast; to let her know what’s been going on in my life.



With a strong Snagglepuss sing-song lisp, the highly manicured, old school Citizen’s Cab regular, Mr. Sweetness, settles in the back of ‘ol 137.


It’s looking to be a perfect, sunny day. The birds will be chirping and the sky is forecast for blue. I have my health and a means to pay rent. Yes. I could not be more graced. It is truly a wonderful year to be alive!


Well, 2016 has been playing out weird, still. True to form, it’s been all grey skies and El Niño in San Francisco. It’s pouring rain out this Monday morning. (Yeah, Monday morning.)


One of the perks of driving a taxi is being able to drop everything to take your kid to school. Despite the opportunity cost, I very much cherish these times. And I know that they will not last forever.



Tuesday 6:25am: I slept in. In the days between Christmas and New Year’s, who doesn’t? Accordingly, it’s quiet out. REAL quiet. I’m just hoping I make gate today on ‘ol Citizen’s Cab…


It’s my last day driving before heading back east for Christmas. And I’m not feeling very well. (Cough! Cough!) Digression: Can someone help me with this “back east” thing? Are we talking…



Yeah, it’s still the slow season in the taxi world. And now it’s cold. Christmas cold. And it’s getting rainy, too. El Niño ‘n all… The good news is, after a short…


So, nothing’s wrong right now. But something’s not right: Is it the changing seasons? That undisclosed wet stuff falling from the sky in San Francisco? Mass shootings? (Nah.) The holidays? I took…