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March 05, 2006

Conversations with my Cabbie I

Walking home a little drunk at 3am, stop in at Kennedy Fried Chicken.
At this hour in this neighborhood, guys behind counters always seem happy to see a whitey stop in.
"What's hot?"
"Hunh?"
"What's ready?"
"Wings!"
"Wings it is then. 6 pieces, please."

Munching wings at 3:05am on 1st Ave, I see a guy sprawled out in the street near a cab, and the cabbie with his arms out, palms forward standing over him, who looks at me and asks if I can help drag the passed-out guy to the curb. I finish the wing I'm eating and put the rest in the pocket of my coat and take the drunk guy's left armpit while the cabbie takes the right.

Drunkie starts to wake up a bit so I say stuff like "Hey man, just moving you to a more comfortable spot, just getting you a little more comfortable, alright then."

The cabbie explains how drunkie was fine when he got in, but passed out before he could pay. So I suggest we rummage through the guy's pockets, but cabbie says no, he never does that. Cabbie says he'll give me a ride home, and what the hell, so I get in.

We chat about drunks and being a cabbie, and he says he used to work at Langley, and I ask whether he did cryptography, and he says no, Secret Service.

So I ask, why the hell are you driving a cab in Harlem, you must get some good retirement benefits, and he says his wife bought a medallion for $7,000 many years ago, and now that those things are worth $300,000 he wants to keep it so his grandkids can have a way to make money.

I say I'm tired of living in a neighborhood where cabbies drag drunks to the curb, and ask him where he thinks is a good neighborhood and he says Prospect Heights. He mentions a few streets and after he stops at my street we trade names and shake hands.

When I get home I look at a map and find Prospect Heights. None of the streets the cabbie mentioned even exist.

Posted by mslaybau at March 5, 2006 03:33 AM

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