Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another Crazy Night

“How long has human civilization existed?” Number 52 asked #25.

“We have written records going back about 6,000 years and pictographs going back about 10 or 20,000 years,” #25 answered and added, “So that’s the only record we have of it.”

“There was more before there were records, but survival was more important, than talking about it, back then,” #52 explained. “Why do you think that right now, at this moment, humanity is at the stage of technology that it finds itself? How is it that advances are increasing exponentially today, with only a few years between leaps, compared to centuries? Why didn’t the Romans invent the internal combustion engine or the Egyptians electricity? If you say, because the technology hadn’t been developed yet, I ask why is it now? Do you think that humanity is more intelligent today than it was 2,000 years ago? If so what about Archimides the Greek? He was the scientist of antiquity that would be the equivalent to Galileo or Einstein. Why are these great minds so far apart then, but closer together now?”

“I don’t know, but it’s a subject that’s been on my mind for a long time, it’s funny that you bring it up,” #25 said.

“It’s because of the overmind,” #52 said. “The more it is fed, the more powerful it becomes. Have you ever thought about the tipping point?”

“What is the tipping point?” Number 25 asked.

“That’s when more human beings inhabit the surface of the planet Earth, than it can sustain,” Trevor explained. “How many billion or trillion human beings will that be? It can be calculated, and has been, by your scientists and mathematicians. As the overmind is fed, it grows and a symbiotic relationship exists between it and humanity. Just as there is a conscious and an unconscious mind, there is the group mind and the overmind. In a normal healthy planet, the tipping point is never reached, because the group mind and overmind become fully connected, and humanity is fully integrated with the planet that it lives on, and what your philosophers have called Utopia becomes reality.

“Number 25, get Pete’s Place for Michael,” John, the dispatcher called.

“Got it,” I told him over Trevor’s radio. “I’ll talk to you later, I told him as I got out of his cab back into my own. It was a beautiful day that hit around 75 degrees, as I drove down 17th to State. On the corner was a guy with his hair dyed yellow with a green 2 inch stripe, like simulating a Mohawk. He was smoking a joint with an ecstatic expression on his face, while another guy, with shoulder length hair walked past him as he crossed the street. The guy offered the joint to the long hair, who took it and sucked in a big pull, as he handed it back to the guy with the multi colored hair, with a big smile on his face and continued walking.

When I got to Pete’s, there was a guy who looked to be in his late 20’s waiting for me. After he got in the cab and told me his destination, we started driving. Since he kept calling me sir, I asked him if he was in the military, and he told me that he was in the National Guard, and just returned from Iraq, after 8 months duty, as a convoy escort. When I asked if he was using a humvee, he said that they didn’t use them for escort vehicles anymore, and the convoy would sometimes stretch for 3 miles with 6 escort vehicles spaced out between them, and on each end. When I dropped him off, he gave me a $3.00 tip.

I pulled into the main post office parking lot to check my PO Box, and a homeless woman, who looked to be about 50 approached me, asking for help. “I need $4.16, can you help me out?” She asked.

Anytime someone asks me for money, I give them something. Even if it’s a drunk or druggie, so I said, “here’s $1.00, get the rest from someone else,” as I walked past her.

Saturday afternoon was slow, and it really didn’t start picking up until after 10:00, which really tested my faith, since I had a lousy night on Friday, as far as take home went. Then I got a call to the Firehouse Exotic club, out on Portland road, around 11:00 PM, and picked up 3 women and one guy, who all looked to be around 30 years old. The guy sat up front with me and all the women got in back of my van. They were going to 2 different destinations, and the women were all drop dead gorgeous. I assumed that they were all strippers, who were out on the town for the night. After I dropped the guy and one of the women off at a house, with a $7.00 fare, and I continued to the Liberty Spirit, in South Salem with the other 2 women.

As we approached the I-5 overpass I saw a highway patrol car with its overhead emergency flashers on, with an officer putting handcuffs, behind the back of a man lying face down on the pavement. Then I could see another half dozen State police cars, with their flashers on the corner of Portland Road and Hyacinth. The light was red when I reached it, so we sat there for about 30 seconds, while I watched a dozen police officers standing and placing hand cuffs on a group of people lying face first on the pavement, on the North East corner. My passenger questioned what was going on and I had to say I didn’t know. I’d witnessed many arrests, but never one this big, I wondered what it was about as we continued, after the light changed.

As we drove, the women began talking to me about having sex with their boyfriends and asking me if I ever cheated on my wife, to which I answered in the negative. One was surprised and the other said, “see I told you that some people don’t cheat,” then they started arguing and proceeded to ask me explicit questions of a personal sexual nature. I decided that I would take it as far as they wanted to, so I answered every question including whether I slap her ass while having sex, until it bruises, whether or not we have anal sex, and if we do the 69 By the time that I got them to the bar, they exhausted me with questions and told me that I was the best cab driver ever. The fare came to $14.00 for their share of the ride and they barely came up with it, handing me a ten and four wrinkled singles, with no tip.

My next fare was 2 guys in their late 20’s who were going to South Salem from a bar in Keizer. On the way there, I recognized one of the men as someone who stiffed me for the fare twice, even though I eventually got paid, after the police were involved. I pretended that I didn’t recognize him, until I dropped the first guy off, who paid me, and the rip off artist wanted to go home to the other side of town. When I told him that I needed money up front he asked me why, so I told him that he burned me twice before. So he showed me about $30.00 that should more than cover the fare. On the drive there he showed me a photo of a baby that he said was his and how he had straightened his life out and was sorry for being an irresponsible person. He said that he was drinking a fifth of whiskey a day back then and lived in a cloud. When he got out, he paid me with a tip and shook my hand, as he apologized for his previous behavior.

One of my last fares for the night was an SPD (Salem Police Department) call on State Street. When I arrived there were a half dozen police cars with their top flashers on and a blue pick up truck. One of the officers waved me in, and opened my passenger door to tell me the destination that I would be taking my fare. The officer had a serious expression and never smiled. Then a Latino man, who looked to be in his forties got in my cab and I began driving him to the address. I tried to talk to him, but he didn’t speak English. When I got him there he acted like he wasn’t sure where he was, and then he got out of the cab, as I told him that he owed me $10.00, to which he acted surprised and handed me an immigration card that had printed matter on both sides. After fishing around in his pockets he came up with $7.00, so I took it and left him walking around in circles at 3:30 AM.

My last fare of the night was from the far North end of Salem to the far South end for $35.00, so I ended up having a decent night, with nearly $100.00 more booked than the night before.

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