The longer I am out here in "taxi-land" the more opportunity, if I can call it that, I have for additional experiences that could or should be categorized as unique or unusual. I do prefer the mundane but with the full moon smiling down, different or troublesome should be expected. Yes, I always anticipate the moon but welcome it I don't. How can a $4.00 dollar fare become the memorable? Less difficult that even I can imagine.
This particular customer originated in the New "High Point" as opposed to the old version which was completely torn down and replaced with "mixed housing" meaning an intermingling of wealthy individuals paying $500,000 dollars to folks paying little to nothing. Interesting concept but wholly successful I believe the verdict remain outs. Consequentially each call is a veritable roulette wheel, rich or poor, sane or disturbed you never know. Like a television game show you never know what is waiting behind that taxi curtain. Given that, each High Point call contains an unavoidable tension. Certainly every bell holds that dimension but usually a neighborhood's demographics contains some measured predictability. Highpoint, and its twins in the Rainier Valley, the new Rainier Vista and further south, the new and improved Holly Park all share this unique combination of salary structure and life experience. Its egalitarianism taken to a social extreme or cultural pinnacle if you like, an accelerated Darwinian experiment simultaneously ignoring the slum and the penthouse. My customer this past Saturday afternoon, though charming in her mild derangement, causes some personal doubt with this human potpourri. Is this the most effective method toward societal equality? I don't know the answer.
First off, I had difficulty finding her given the sometimes layout of the development. Though proud that I discovered her address, once exiting I saw her standing a good hundred feet away. Driving back around, the slightly disheveled and short woman (less that five feet) entered just wanting to go the local Walgreen's. Speaking in whisper I couldn't tell if she was ill or permanently damaged. Pleasant enough, I got her there in about 2 minutes. All was normal until it was time to pay me the four dollars.
She had her right hand in an unusual grip. Here, she said, is your payment. Beckoning me to open my hand, her currency was a quick tap upon my opened palm. When I told her that there was nothing there, she was clearly offended. Com'on, I said, you have to pay which prompted her to dig into her pocket and pull out an imaginary book of Metro taxi script, placing it in my palm. Satisfied that she paid the fare she got out of the cab. Again mildly confronting her, she just stared at me, her indignation profound as how could I accuse her? On some level it was humorous though I had to place her on the "no-service" list. How she got back home I have no idea. May an invisible pathway guided her back.
Soon thereafter, I got belled into the VA Hospital for a passenger going to Lakewood, which is south of Tacoma, which I knew to be a hundred dollar plus fare. Entering the ER lobby they had not one but two individuals, both with separate charge slips and destined for Lakewood. Amazing, doubling my money but not the time. Call it the full moon on the plus side! This one occurrence nearly doubled my then current roll. Just like taxi!