So there I was, out all night driving that miserable little Yellow Cab. It was a compact rental. The South Side was a bit out of the way for a hack from the Yellow Cab Co-Op as the city’s taxicab service, like the rest of the city, was divided and racist. Desperate for fares I chased down to the near South Side to an unclaimed address called repeatedly by the radio dispatcher.
As I pulled up to the curb in front of the address I noticed a couple sitting in deep shadow at the top of the porch steps doing some heavy necking. With one passionate and lingering kiss they broke off for the night. The woman came down and, as she entered the back of the cab, and before she closed the car door, the overhead dome light momentarily illuminated her face.
Glancing in the rear-view mirror I immediately recognized her – the wife of a young friend of mine.
I pushed down the flag on the taximeter and pulled away from the curb. As we rolled down the quiet street I said: “So. S_____, how’s it going?”
Startled by the sound of her own name, she jerked rigid in the darkness and peered back at me in the rear-view mirror and nearly shouted in my ear:
“Reske! You Fool!“
I thought to myself: “Why am I the fool? You’re the one who just got caught cheating.”
Since I knew where she lived I just drove her home in silence. The way I saw it, there was nothing I could possibly add by way of conversation to that moment. I stopped in front of her house and raised the flag. She got out, handed me a bill, and said,
“Keep the change.”
True stories are the best kinds of stories.
In flagrante delicto