Finding a Path to a Destination
It was near the end of the month. Rudy was having a slow day. In fact, his whole month had been slow. There were rides to the airport but the local rides that he depended on were not happening.
But then again, so many places were closed and everyone was stuck at home and nobody needed a cab. Would these times ever end?
He decided to end his day but changed his mind when he saw a guy standing on the sidewalk flagging him down.
Rudy stopped, got out, and opened the trunk of his cab.
The guy said, “No No. These bags stay with me.”
Rudy closed the trunk and opened the door to the back seat.
The guy placed his bags in the cab and sat next to them.
Rudy got behind the wheel and asked, “Where to?”
The guy replied, “Anywhere. Just drive.”
Rudy said, “Please don’t think me rude, but I do need to know.”
“If you insist, take me to the bridge.”
“I beg your pardon!”
“I just got kicked out of Hospice because I overstayed my welcome.”
“Why do you want to go to the Bridge?”
“I need to jump off.”
“You ask too many questions. It is none of your business. DRIVE!”
“You are right sir. It is none of my business. But my business depends on people who pay me to take them where they want to go. May I ask at least one question?”
“It’s your cab. You have free speech rights. Just remember, I DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER, I HAVE RIGHTS TOO.”
“Do you have the $5.00 fare ready?”
“Maybe I do and Maybe I don’t.”
“OH NO! I can’t go for that. My rent is due and I am short. No free rides today.”
“You are just like everybody else. Nobody cares how I feel. All my friends have abandoned me.”
“Sounds like you need a new set of friends.”
“Keep your patronizing opinions to yourself, I don’t need a lecture from a cabbie who flunked out of Pre-School.”
Randy knew that the Mission was three blocks away. He drove to it and stopped.
The guy in the back seat asked, “Why are you bringing me back home? I told you to take me to the Bridge.”
Randy said, “Wait here. I need to drop something off. I’ll be back.”
He went to the Mission’s office and when Eddy saw him, he said, “Hey Randy, it’s been a while. What brings you here?”
“One of your guests is in the back seat of my cab.”
“How do you know he’s one of our guests? Judgment is mine. . .”
“YAYA I know, I am only guessing.”
They walked to the cab and Eddy’s eyes lit up. He said to the guy in the back seat, “Homer, you are just in time for supper. We have two different soup choices tonight. Do you want Tomato or Chicken Noodle?”
Homer replied, “The one that does not come with prayers.”
Eddy shook hands with Randy and said, “Thanks. There will always be a seat at the table for you.”
Randy replied, “Mother of Mary, I hope not.”
“Now Now Randy, a blasphemous attitude is a heavy load to carry.”
He saluted Eddy and said, “OK. I’ll let you do your work and I’ll go do mine.”
Eddy picked up Homer’s bags and said, “Soups On.”
He paused, And as Eddy watched the cab leave the parking lot, he thought, “I never looked at it like that. Randy and I are in the business of helping people get to a destination. Randy's destination is temporal and mine is spiritual. We have goals, requiring complex work.”
©️ LuMar Lee 2023,
all rights reserved
I Saw a Ghost in Late December Rudy tells a story about the time a ghost hailed him on Coronado Island.
3-minute read time.
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