Thursday, April 8, 2010

The First Monday

I finally got on the street about 4:10 PM, after #31 came in with my cab. It was the first Monday of the month so everyone who gets paid monthly would have money and be out spending it. It was an overcast night, that had occasional sprinkles, requiring me to turn on the windshield wipers every couple of minutes. A little after 5:00 PM I got a call to Motel 6, room 299. When I got there, I knocked on the door, and a man who looked like a street person, wearing a baseball cab, with long hair and a beard, dressed in ragged clothes answered the door, and told me that my passenger would be out in a minute. I sat in my cab waiting with the flashers on, until he came down, and got in.

“Where are we heading?” I asked my fare, who looked to be around 60 years old with snow white shoulder length hair and a full beard.

“Ringo’s,” he told me, and as we drove there he pulled a wad of money out of his sock that he held out for me to see. “I always want to make sure that cab drivers know that I’ve got money and I’ll be able to pay them. I get my check on the first of the month, and I like to live high for a few days, before I have to sleep in under the bridge again. I try to keep my reputation square with the cabs so they don’t black list me.”

While we drove there, my passenger kept talking about how he was good for the fare, and wanted to have a few drinks. He handed me a $10.00 bill that he said was my tip, and when we got there he handed me a $20.00, to pay for the $12.60 fare. After I gave him his change, he asked for my card and I gave him one, with my number on it, for him to call when he was ready to go back to the motel.

I got a couple of grocery runs from Walmart and Winco after that, and ended up at Greyhound around 7:00 PM, where I parked in the second taxi stand. There was another Yellow cab parked in the first stall, and I saw that it was #52. He started about 6 months ago and I talked to him a few times, but he seems strange. I can’t put my finger on it, but my gut churns every time that I talk to him. He always wears driving gloves with blue fingertips and a large blue patch on the palm. The first time that I met him he looked into my eyes, like he was trying to see something, and the take that he has on everything is like he just arrived here from another planet. I shut off my engine and took out the keys, as I got out of my cab and opened #52’s door.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“It is going well,” he answered. “How about you?”

“Oh, it’s going great,” I answered. Remember what we were talking about last time?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he answered, “it was about the possibility of life on other planets.”

“Right,” I answered, “you were telling me that only a moron would think that the universe didn’t contain countless planets that supported sentient life. The way that you said it almost sounded like you knew something that nobody else does.”

“I don’t know anything that isn’t common knowledge among googolplex sentient beings,” #52 answered.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked.

“If you mean a prime mover, or a first cause, the answer is yes,” he answered.

“What about a personal God, who became man and died for our sins,” I said.

“What is a sin?” he asked me, like he really didn’t know.

“You know,” I answered, “bad things that we do, that Jesus had to die on the cross for.”

“Why would a Mexican man have to die on a railroad warning sign for bad things that you do?” He asked me.

“The New Testament of the Bible was written in Greek,” I told him, “and the word sin comes from the Greek word “hamartina,” which is an archery term, meaning to miss the bulls eye on the target, or falling short of what was required. That’s what Jesus Christ the messiah did when he died on the cross 1981 years ago, according to an accurate accounting for the year that he was born based on the governors and kings in power at the time, in spite of the error on the Gregorian calander.”

“So the prime mover became part of its creation in order to save that creation from the error of its ways?” He asked.

“Yeah, something like that,” I answered.

“I take it this teaching is part of the religion that you call Christianity,” he said.

“Yes,” I answered, “it’s called redemption for our sins, and helps us to walk in the path that God called us too.”

“That path leads to the next phase,” which will be soon on this world.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, as my mind grew confused while I started to get that churning feeling in my stomach.

“#25,” the radio announced, “you’re wanted at JC’s Pizza.”

“That must be the guy that I drove from Motel 6 earlier,” I said, as I got out of #52’s cab, and got in my own. After I wrote down the call, I started my engine and began driving to Keizer. When I got to JC’s I went inside and found my passenger sitting at a table with a half finished mug of beer and a large white flat box with a pizza in it.

“Your cab is here,” I told my passenger.

“Oh, hi,” he said, “I’ll be right out, give me a minute.”

I sat in my cab and waited until he came out and got in front with me. “Where too?” I asked.

“I don’t want to go back to the motel yet, what bars are in that area?” He asked me.

“There’s Players, Roccos, Canton Gardens and…” I was saying.

“Take me to Canton Gardens,” he said. “Can you go inside with me?” He asked and continued. “You can have a 7 Up while I have a drink.”

“As long as the meter is running,” I told him, “but why spend all your money at once? Why not try to conserve it and stretch it out.”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, you’re funny, “he said.” Let’s go to Canton Gardens, and let your meter run.

When we got there I turned the meter on time and locked the cab up. Shelly the bar tender who used to drive for Yellow cab was working, and my passenger ordered a whiskey and water, while I got a 7 Up. He bought 10 scratch it lottery cards and gave me 5. Then after he went into the smoking area to smoke a cigarette that he bummed off Shelly, he was ready to go back to the motel. When we got there the meter was at $24.50, and he gave me $25.00 and asked me if I wanted some of his pizza. It was almost time for me to eat lunch, so I took 1/3 of the large 10 topping pie. After he got out I pulled into a parking spot on the other side and got out my thermos of coffee, to drink with my pizza, until I got another call

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