Remember in my last post, when I said that it was a terrible idea to pick up unconscious people because they are likely to throw up, not know where they are going… or wake up and freak out? Yeah. About that.
The night after I took the girls to the hospital, I was at work again. It was Saturday night, which is usually EVEN MORE of a shitshow than Fridays. On top of that, there was a full moon in Leo that weekend. I have experienced, in my personal life and as a cab driver, an intense heightening of emotion around this time of the month that can lead to a little bit (or a lot) of craziness in myself and in the general population. Whenever I talk to people that have worked in prisons, mental wards, hospitals, they have agreed that people just get a little nuts during the full moon. If the moon is in a water sign like Pisces or Cancer, there tends to be a lot of crying and emotional breakdowns. In Earth signs, I don’t usually notice it. Maybe the earth energy grounds all that ‘irrational’ emotion. Same with Air, maybe it just doesn’t have anywhere tangible to land? But in Fire signs… yowza! Leo is all about sovereignty, performance, ego, shining brightly, bringing your full and genuine Self into the light. It can also be about being a diva, a narcissist, a cry-baby. Bring the full moon with its intensity and magnified emotion in with that big energy… it’s basically a cab driver’s nightmare.
I’d gone to work feeling less like a plucked chicken and much more positive than the previous night, but was still struggling. Around midnight I got a call to Lovecraft, a goth bar in SE that is… well, Lovecraft themed. It’s a great bar and I love going there during my personal time, and generally cab fares are pleasant. I pulled up and saw a variety of ‘strangely’ dressed people outside. It is Portland, after all, the land of “Keeping It Weird”, and they were standing outside Lovecraft, and yet I STILL noticed a distinct ‘strangeness’ about these people. A man with large hair and, in my memory (I might be making this up), a silver sequined coat with tails, came up to the window and said that he was hosting some bar tour or party bus or something, and that this woman had ‘overdone it a little bit, but should be fine.” Pretty much the exact same thing I’d heard from the employee at the rave bar the night before. I looked past him to see a large woman wearing a sequined dress, also with big hair (maybe I am conflating these two people, it was a few weeks ago), being carried to the cab, feet dragging, by a tiny bald man wearing a long, black coat, ala Neo from the Matrix. Again, I sighed and let them in the cab. I guess I didn’t have the energy to fight back anymore.
The woman was mostly unconscious and spent the ride writhing around with her head in the tiny man’s lap, yelling “Mother?!” and “You hate me!” and kicking the windows behind my head. The tiny bald man couldn’t remember where their car was, and had super intense dry mouth that I could hear when he talked. He kept telling me his mouth got dry when he was nervous and that he was sober. Bull. Shit. We got across the river and halfway up Glisan before I very calmly told the woman that she’d have to quit kicking the window behind my head, because she was getting very close to my skull with her spike-heeled boots and I was responsible for steering the vehicle through a video-game like world of drunk drivers, cars full of jock frat boys cruising, zombie-d out drunk pedestrians falling off the sidewalk, people dancing, fighting and/or making out in the street, cops parked haphazardly across the lanes arresting people, and who knows what else, and if she valued her life she wouldn’t distract me from my duty. She was quiet for a few minutes after this, and then began mumbling profanities that eventually turned into a full-blown psychotic rage along the lines of (if you are delicate, cover your ears!) “Fuck that cunt, I’m gonna kill that cock-sucking whore, don’t give that bitch any money, I’m going to cut her throat.” NICE! Meanwhile she was getting physically agitated and trying to sit up and carry out her threats. She was so drunk and/or high that she couldn’t quite coordinate her limbs enough to do this, and I was at no point afraid. I just pulled the car over and said to the tiny man, “Sorry, you guys have to get out here.” He apologized and agreed and then got into a 5 minute long scuffle with the drunk woman, trying to pull her out of the cab while she was trying to lunge at me, and then keeping her on the sidewalk while she continued to lunge at me and kick the cab. He finally, with superhuman strength, managed to lift her off the sidewalk and onto the hood of a car parked on the street and yell, “Now you STAY THERE and BE QUIET!” And she did. He paid me the $10, gave me a $4 tip and apologized some more, while she posed like a pin-up girl on the hood of the parked car… quietly. Then I drove away and managed to work another 45 minutes before I called it quits and went home to hide from the crazy, crazy world.
Earlier in the night I’d picked up another cabbie. We got to chatting and figured out that we’d both driven the drunk girls the night before… I, obviously, to the hospital, and he, home from the hospital. But wait… he didn’t take them home. He took them BACK TO THE CLUB after they’d been discharged or turned away or whatever, from the hospital. I thought about this all night, as drunk person after drunk person got into the cab, and then the crazy psychotic lady was the last straw. I thought about all the terrible people that have gotten in my cab over the years. They have been, luckily, a small percentage of my fares. I’d say, 5%. I was going to finish this post with a list, but I think instead I will give them each the full account that they don’t deserve. Look for their stories later.