Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Taxi sabbatical explained (finally)

“You ran someone over?”

“Well, no. I… just ran over her foot. She was my passenger.”

“So what happened?”

“It was a two person ride, from Korea Town, that little block on 32nd Street, past the Port Authority twice.”


Nobody wants those details, traffic, locations, time span of the ride. What they want to hear is how that split-second moment went down. I am starting to get boring.

”Okay so I dropped off the second woman at a street fair. Since the intersecting street was closed I pulled into that crosswalk nook to avoid blocking traffic. She paid me eleven dollars and scooted off the seat. She took a particularly long time. Entering sunlight hit my right eye as she opened the door. I checked my trip sheet and to my surprise, the start time, beginning location, and end location of my 25th ride was all entered. I looked at the sheet again to enter the end time of the ride, but my mind got cloudy and I forgot what it was I was doing. I went through the checklist in my head:

-Left signal on
-Put car in drive
-Take foot off brake
-Look in left mirror
-Check blind spot

And suddenly: ‘Ahhhhh,” A horrid two syllable muffled scream came through the closed windows and found its way to my right ear. I immediately held the brakes, yanked the shifter and pulled it to park. I opened my door uncertain of what awaited at the rear of the taxi.

There she was, my passenger, on the pavement beside the rear right wheel, clutching her foot. I saw her foot was red around the toes and some minor blisters were present. My worries about her condition began to share headspace with worries about my own status: Would I still drive a cab? Would anybody respect me? Does anybody respect me? Am I going to get sued? Am I going to loose my license, and never be able to drive in this town again? Then I felt guilty for thinking all these things while a woman whom I was hired by got her foot ran over, the nerve of my thoughts to run in only my favor.

3 seconds had passed, since the scream. I shut my rear-right door and checked the back seat to make sure she didn’t leave anything behind, nope, nothing. I may have opened it before closing it. But my thoughts were traveling so quickly; I thought perhaps I was unaware of her door being left open. Perhaps this is how her foot was ran over, she quickly stepped in front of the wheel’s path to shut the door she hadn’t closed yet. I was trying to piece together this mystery before anybody attended to me. We both were dealing with too much shock to talk to each other, we were merely examining this situation.

5 seconds had passed, and three people from the fair arrived. The woman said she had called 911, and the man said ‘I’m a doctor, I’m a doctor.’. The woman pulled out a folding chair from a street fair vendor while the doctor squeezed her foot in various spots. I noticed her right heel, a Gucci, was broken. I thought that maybe I should pay for a new pair of shoes, but then I realized that I probably couldn’t afford a pair. Maybe I could pay for one of them.. nah.

‘I don’t need an ambulance,’ she said, but it was too late, they had already called it in. The woman who provided the chair said it would be good to have it checked out at least, I agreed, for professionalism’s sake.

Due to the neighborhood we were in, the police actually arrived within 2 minutes, quickly followed by a fire truck, and then the ambulance.


The gist of it is all here, but more, at the top of the blog.

1 comment:

G.S. said...

From what you've described so far I'm not sure you did anything wrong. I'm wondering if the accident may have been caused by her own carelessness as to where she was walking or even if possibly you've been set up for a fake accident. It has happened to me. Can't wait for the next installment.