A Draining Night
So many things happened last night, each of them normally worthy of a post here. My first thought when I got home was that I should list everything, and then write a series of more in-depth posts all about the night of July 29th/30th. But when I saw the list, and it was so long, I figured I should just replicate it here:
I was in such a hurry to get on the list that I forgot my lease money at home. This ended up being a non-issue, as the weekend superintendent said I could drop.
While sitting around waiting/hoping to be called, L (a day owner) told me, H, and D about his health problems due to Agent Orange exposure. He takes 22 pills a day.
D, a driver I really like a lot, decided not to drive after all, but kept hanging around the garage and talking about his struggles with being bi-polar. I was supportive of him, but didn't realize until after I'd gone out that he must be very lonely and was basically looking/asking for help. I felt very bad for not asking him for his cell phone number.
E told me a great story about having to deliver two lobsters from Jake's to McCormick & Schmick's. What made this story funny was that he didn't charge them the delivery rate, but the passenger rate (including an extra dollar for the second lobster).
I was the last person to get a cab. It was a 7-7, which I prefer but are relatively rare, and had a CD player. The condition of my getting it was that I not smoke in it (I've been smoking like normal since around the time of the move, and it really sucks).
I gave R, the guy on whose reccomendation I got the job and someone I really respect, a ride home after getting in the car at 6. He gave me $20 for this, which was pretty unnecessary. I stopped quickly for a red light, and R told me not to that afraid of the Safety Board, R had resigned, and R (the one I was driving) might go back on it.
I then went home to take a shower, and arrived just as my wonderful roommate was taking various and sundry deliciously prepared fish off the grill and smoker. Some old friends showed up, and until 7:45 I enjoyed good food and company instead of sitting in the cab in a clogged zone.
My first "real" fare was the sister of Copywrite from MHz. I was listening to Ropeladder, the old MUSH records compilation, and we had a good conversation about indie hip-hop and old friends of hers from Columbus like RJD2, Blueprint, and Camu Tao who were growing more popular.
I picked up a black guy who was on crutches and had recently shattered a leg when a bus hit his bike. We talked about our mutual bike injuries, resulting surgeries, and how being uninsured is not fun in such a situation.
A white guy in his early fifties was going from Cocktails & Dreams to the Voodoo downtown. He was newly single, owned an adult bookstore, and kept nagging me to tell him about my sex life and where brothels were. I eventually told him where some brothels were, and he only tipped me a dollar.
I did the dumbest thing I've ever done at work, and locked my keys in the cab while buying water at the Chevron on MLK & Fremont. The dispatcher asked me who my friends working were, so that she could find me someone who would do it for cheap and spare me the embarassment of having a fleet message go out. I told her that I knew E and E were working, and maybe G. She said she'd get E to do it. While I waited about 20 minutes for E, I made an instant connection and friendship with B, a one-legged black Sufi in his early 20s. I'll hopefully be hanging out with him a bunch on slow nights from here on out, a really bright and kind person. We talked about people's bullshit, and how not to let it get you down. Finally an E showed up, but it wasn't the E I know, another woman who I barely know but enjoy a lot. She wouldn't let me pay her, and I felt bad that someone I don't know got specifically asked to do me a favor. She was really gracious though, as I would've expected.
My next trip was a Latino/a transvestite to Embers (gay bar downtown).
I drove some white stoner death metal fans with dreadlocks to a show at Sabala's. They spent the entire trip talking about their dream of becoming glass pipe and bong entrepreneurs.
I picked up a very drunk middle-eastern kid at Sewickley's Addition around 12:30 AM. He told me to be quick, he was late to work. He works the midnight to 8 AM shift at Taboo adult video at 82nd & Division.
At 1 AM, I picked up a very weird middle aged white couple who needed to get home with the groceries they'd just bought.
I took some drunk and racist white guys to a private party that underachieving Blazers power forward Zach Randolph was throwing at their friend's bar downtown.
After that, I got immediately flagged by underachieving Blazers power forward Zach Randolph's uncle and bodyguard. He had me rush him to the dive motel on 82nd & Sandy so he could meet his "young lady."
After dropping him off, I was immediately flagged by a black woman with a severe asthma attack who had me sprinting her all over Northeast. She paid me half what it cost, and tipped me with a container of shaving cream.
A little bit later, I got a message on my MDT that said "BRD MEMBER SAYS SLOW WAY DOWN." I told the dispatcher about the woman with asthma, and asked her to pass it along to the board member. He'd stopped working after the bar rush (of course), and she said he was the kind of guy who would write someone up. The dispatchers love me, though, and she said she'd make sure the board member got my message. Still, given my last experience with the Safety Board, I am afraid for my job.
At around 3:30, I picked up a nicely dressed, middle-aged heterosexual white couple who weren't all that drunk but were DUMB AS FUCKING STONES. They couldn't understand why there weren't any strip clubs still open. I ended up taking them to the brothel/arcade mentioned here
My next trip was a sobbing blonde woman in her early 20s at Legacy Emmanuel. She told me about having just left her physically abusive boyfriend. She was leaving her friend at the hospital, who was being hit by her boyfriend. The friend wasn't the one in the hospital, it was her boyfriend. Another guy had beaten the boyfriend into a coma earlier in the night when he saw the boyfriend treating my fare's friend like shit. The fare's friend's eye was still closed from being punched last week. The fare's friend, for some inexplicable reason, felt like it was her fault that her boyfriend was in the hospital. I will never be able to understand this.
At 4:30 AM, I took a man in Beaverton to buy edible panties for his girlfriend. He told me about how a helicopter almost crashed into a building when he was installing Air Conditioners downtown, but that it didn't make the news. He was really looking forward to eating those panties.
At 5:15 AM, dispatch took pity on me and threw me a $47 airporter from Canyon Road since I was one of the few people deep in the west side.
After that, I ran a small airporter where a college professor actively encouraged me not to go back to school. She's basically of the opinion that higher education is a soul-crushing intellectual prison.
I got a ride home from J, a female night driver I hadn't met before. She seems really cool, and we talked about racist cab drivers and the ways in which people subconsciously create circumstances that fulfill both their fears and desires.
Things I didn't do because for some reason I thought making money was more important since I'm leaving town next weekend:
Go to the Fridge's 100th year anniversary party, where many old friends of mine were.
Go to the PDX Pop Now! after party I was invited to, where I could've mingled with Portland's uber-hip indie rock elite.
Go to see 2 Oboes, my favorite musical act in Portland.
Anyways, I'm taking tonight off. I'm spent.