This Saint Patrick 's Day didn't start out all that great. I start at my garage on 18th Street in the South Bronx and head into Harlem over the Third Avenue Bridge. I caught my first fare at 12th Street and Lexington Avenue, a thirtyish Latina and this older and seemingly mentally delayed older white guy. They were going to The Bronx up near the Throggs Neck Bridge. The traffic was brutal most of the way and they were arguing in coded words I took to be drug related. He wanted to get high then and there in my taxi. She had a bag of whatever in her purse and wasn't going to share it till they got home. Surprisingly she not only paid in full, in cash without drama but she even gave me a fairly decent tip. But there I was, nowhere near my next fare, six pm and I had forty dollars. I didn't get another fare till 6:45.
The entire night was slow, like pulling teeth. The streets were quiet and empty taxis raced each other going nowhere.
It was at around three in the morning that I picked up my first and only serious drunks of the night, three young Irish guys on Bleeker and MacDougal going to Jersey City. I made an agreement with the spokesman, the one who seemingly knew where he was. Sixty bucks, cash, all in. On the Jersey side he asked me to stop and pull over. He vomited on the sidewalk, not on my door. I appreciated that. They didn't have sixty bucks between them. That I didn't appreciate. The first credit card got declined. Uh oh. It worked out okay though, I got $84 on the third card and headed back to Manhattan.
As often is the case for me I made good money near the end of the shift. I took a Black cop home from his friend's place in Stuyvesant Town to Park Slope. Forty bucks. Out on Flatbush Avenue, amib an armada of empty taxis racing to the Manhattan Bridge, I had the good fortune of catching another forty dollar ride, all the way to 72nd and Broadway. From there I caught one back into the Bronx, twenty-nine dollars, no tip, and I turned in for the night at the stroke of five in the morning. I made $249.00 for myself. The closing two hours saved my night.