The Taxi©

The door of the baggage claim opened onto the street. The Holiday Inn was in sight. It would be just a short walk except for the freeway, a fence and a light rail track.  My taxi driver and I met in front of a long queue of taxis, at least sixty. I knew he anticipated a nice fare and tip to downtown.

But when I said “Holliday Inn Woodland Park,” the tendons on his neck stood at attention, his jaws became taught, his face grew red and his knuckles turned white. He about broke the fare meter handle as he threw it into the start position. He slammed his clipboard down on the passenger seat in dismay and disgust at his bad fortune. “Now I have a five dollar fare and maybe a buck or two tip, then back to the end of the queue,” he thought and figured if he dared open his mouth during this ultra-short trip, he would say something he would regret. He grit his teeth and said nothing as he navigated the short distance to the hotel. He didn’t know about the five for the fare and the forty for his tip in my hand.

When we stopped, I handed him the money and went into the inn. When I turned around at the front desk, there he stood with tears in his eyes. When we said our good byes, there were tears in both our eyes.