Day Cabbie

San Francisco taxi stories from one of the very rare female drivers

Don't I know you?

This morning I picked up a dude at 18th and Castro. He was probably in his late 30's or early 40's and wearing a hat. When I noticed that he reminded me of a dude I had seen in a music video years ago, I had the first inkling that I had had him in my cab before.

I thought he might be the same person I had had in my cab about six months ago. That person had gotten in at 18th and Castro or somewhere very close to it as well. Around the same time in the morning too. He had worn a striped hat which I liked. He had reminded me of the dude from the music video. He hadn't talked much the whole ride and just stared out the window, looking like he was in a bad mood. He had requested to go to Sutter and Leavenworth. When we had gotten to his building, he had asked me to wait while he ran up to his apartment to get money. He had never come back. I don't remember how long I waited but I think I waited long enough to know that he had ripped me off.

I had thought about him recently and thought how funny it would be to have him in my cab again. And now I was pretty sure that I had him in my cab again.

"I think I have had you in my cab before."

"I don't know. You look familiar."

"Where are you going?"

"Sutter and Leavenworth."

"Okay," I said to him. On the inside I was saying "Oh. My. Gawd."

"I just woke up, not knowing where I was."

"Really?"

"Yeah, these people had given me some G last night."

"G?"

"Yeah, you know that, right?"

"Yeah, GHB, right?"

"Yeah. So I woke up this morning with nothing but my keys."

"With nothing but your keys? So are you saying you have no money?"

"I do when we get to my apartment."

I was alarmed. He continued to tell me about his night of GHB and puking and passing out, but I wasn't really listening.

"You know, I am pretty sure I have had you in my cab before. And if that was you, then you went up to your apartment and never came back, and I never got paid."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"No..."

"You don't think that was you?"

"I know that wasn't me. I wouldn't do that."

"Well, we'll see if you pay me today."

I didn't want things to be too uncomfortable, so I continued asking him questions about the night before and where he worked and stuff. When we got to his street, I said "At the For Rent sign, right?" I remembered that from last time.

"Yeah."

"So you promise you'll be back?"

"Yeah, I promise. I swear."

It was 7:40am. I decided to wait until 7:45 and then leave. At 7:43 he came back out. The fare was $13. He gave me $17. I smiled widely and said "Thank you very much!"

I was disappointed that he came back because it would have made for a much better story if he hadn't. But I was also glad that he came back because I think that I made a difference in his integrity that day. If I hadn't confronted him, I think he would have pulled the same thing on me again that he had six months ago.

1 Comments:

At 4/20/2007 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Nadia said...

Good for you! I'm such a non-confrontationalist that I would have just hoped he'd do the right thing. But that's how I always get screwed over. You're so brave!

 

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