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At the age of 22 I worked as a taxi driver. I figured ‘hey, I know how to drive. How hard can it be?’
I got my license and worked for a local taxi company where I knew all the employees. It really wasn’t that bad. What sucked is working for fare and tips and have to gas up the taxi with your own money. A few of the drawbacks where some of the fares you picked up and the shitty vehicles. One time I was driving the road and the cab I was driving was on its last legs and blowing out black smoke from the tail pipe. How embarrassing is that when other motorist yelling ‘get the fuck off the road bitch!’ I usually worked during the day and met some unusual characters. I remember my first fare, some East Indian guy asking me if I was married, then that I should marry him as a friend so he could get papers.
There was one fare that ended my taxi driving days. I got a call around 1 am on a Saturday night from dispatch telling me that someone wanted a drive to Trenton (which was around 45 minutes away). I didn’t want to take it but he kept telling me that no one was available and I would get good money. So what did I do? I got my ass up and walked to the terminal. Enter my fare a white guy that apparently had one too many to drink. That didn’t faze me much we had that Plexiglas barrier and fares were not allowed to sit up front. This of course is what he wanted to do. ‘No can do sir you have to sit in the back.’ So off we go down the yellow brick road. Normally rides are quiet but not this night. He wanted to chat about some bullshit that I can’t even remember now.
The main thing that stuck in my mind was his comments ‘Oh my god, I am so wasted, I am so drunk, I can’t believe how much I drank. My doctor said I shouldn’t mix my medication with alcohol.’ Now picture me looking like a deer caught in the headlights. Damn, shit just got real. So I am driving and freaking out on the inside imagining 20 million scenarios that can happen to me. Rape, murder, the works. So I get him to his house and he asks me if I can accept a check to which I replied no. He then said ‘I have to go in and get the cash, why don’t you come in with me.’
I gave him a sweet smile and said ‘Nah, I’ll wait for you here. You didn’t want me smoking on the ride up so I’m going to have a cigarette now.’ All the while thinking if he starts some shit I will kick him in the balls and haul ass! After a few minutes he came out and gave me the cash. I grabbed that shit and got the hell out of Dodge. On the way home I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was this close to something really bad happening to me. I had a kid at home and I wasn’t about to have him become motherless ya know. The next day I quit that job and never looked back.