san francisco

I am out hacking the streets of San Francisco early, again. Something woke me up. A mental vortex emanating from my previous cab shift.


Tuesday 4:00am: “Bloooop… Bloooop… Bloooop… Bloooop…” My generic iPhone Harp alarm-tone eases me into the day. (Well, sorta.) You see, I set my alarm forty-five minutes early this morning, on account of…


It’s 5:45 in the a.m. and I’m rolling the Castro of San Francisco, in Citizen’s Cab 2976, my eyes peeled for flags the likes of late night stragglers, and early morning Mexicans headed across town to their dish washing jobs.



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.


I have never been a football fan. In addition to my adolescent frustration at having The Simpsons and X-Files pre-empted by a group of grown men lunging at each other in formations I had no frame of reference for or interest in


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…