Its just after 2am-I'm dispatched to an east end donut shop.I don't see anyone around,as I look through the shop window I see a women slouched in a chair.She appears to be the only patron at this wee hour of the morning.A straggler from the bar across the road I assume.Sure enough she notices me and comes walking out the door.Well I think-at least she is not staggering-and she's rather attractive as well.So she gets in the front seat and promptly rests her head back-getting good and comfortable.
Where to I ask her? Oh any place she replies-can you narrow that down I ask? Well how about your place she says.Uh that's not an option I tell her-now where do you want to go? Well she says "I need to get some sleep-and I can't go home".Why not I reply-"I'll wake up the landlady,and since I just moved in-I don't want to piss her off",she says.
Okay I tell her-but you will have to give me some idea where you want to go.So once again she says "well take me to your place-you seem like a nice guy".Are you married-do you have a girlfriend she asks?No-none of the above I tell her-but I don't even know you-and you can't stay at my place.Why not she asks? How about because I am just not comfortable with that scenario I tell her.Fair enough she says-'then lets go to Niagara Falls".
I'm now thinking WTF? She doesn't appear to be that intoxicated-and I can only detect a faint odour of alcohol.So I tell her Niagara Falls will cost you at least $400.00-so what she replies-"I have money-It can be our first date"
What are you on I ask her? Nothing she replies-I have just had a few drinks and I can't go home.I think about it for a minute-and finally tell her-"listen its 2:30 in the morning,I'm off shift in a few hours,and I don't feel like driving to the falls and back."
"I can't do this dance any longer-its costing me money-tell me where to take you in town-or you will have to get out."
Okay she says-then lets just drive around for a while.Fine I replied-but I need some up front money.How about $30.00 to start with I tell her.She agrees and we run it through my debit machine-and to my surprise the transaction is approved.
So off we go-with her now leaning on my shoulder.By this time the dispatcher is calling me-asking if I had picked up yet?As I tried to reply-Susan- as she had now introduced herself-starts poking me in the ribs-and carrying on.I am now laughing at the absurdity of this whole situation-and answer the dispatch in the midst of her trying to tickle me."Yes-14 has picked up for unknown destinations"I tell him.
We drive all over town-then out to the country a bit-she shares a little of her life story-I share with her a little of mine.The meter hits $30.00-I pull into a gas station-and ask her now what?
Lets keep going she says-"I'm enjoying this".By this time from what she has shared with me-I realize that she really can't afford this.Let me drop you home I tell her-I won't charge you anymore."Well let me show you some pictures of my kid's and grand kid's first she says".
So I said okay- and shut the timer off on the meter.She takes the pictures out of her purse-and shows me some really beautiful photos of her family.I tell her a bit about mine-and that I to, am a proud parent -and a Grandfather as well.
She tucked the photos back in her purse-and says lets drive some more.So I run her debit card through for another $30.00-but this times its declined.That can't be she exclaims-I have my rent money in there! So in case its an error with my machine-we head to a bank machine.When we get to the bank she tells me to go through the drive thru.You will still have to get out to enter your pin number I tell her.No I don't she says-just close your eyes.She then proceeds to literally crawl across my lap and use the machine via my window.
Um this is a little inappropriate I tell her-don't you think? Nah she says "were friends now".
The ATM spit out the cash-and away we went again.As the meter climbed towards the eighty dollar mark-I finally talked her into to going home.We sat in front of her house and chatted for another half hour (off the meter) and I was actually quite taken with many of the things we had in common.
"This was God's plan that we met tonight" she said.That comment rather struck me-for personal reasons.I don't know if it was God's plan or not-but I do know that if she had gotten the only other cabbie on shift at the time I picked her up-she would certainly be waking up in Niagara Falls later this morning-and unable to pay her rent.
I felt good about that-my integrity remained intact,and I met a very interesting lady.One who under different circumstances I probably would have asked out.