Cab Driver Dreams of Becoming a Writer

Mather Schneider
9 min readJun 22, 2023
Photo by DAVOD on Unsplash

I get out of the cab and step into the oven of a normal Arizona summer day. I can’t find her, I can’t find her. My passenger is supposed to be at the “hypnotism clinic” at 5499 N. La Cholla. The orders are clear on my computer screen: name, phone number, pick-up address, destination address, amount I will be paid.

I open the door of the clinic. I call out her name.

“Is there a Carol Russo here?”

Several people sit in the waiting room and they all turn their eyes to me as if asking for help, but no one stands up. I go to receptionist window. No one there. Back outside I look around the area. Sometimes they wander off, I find them hiding behind bushes. I dial her phone number once again but it’s the same mechanical female voice: “The number you have dialed is a non-working number, please check the number and dial again…”

I’m about ready to give up when I see a woman coming from around the outside of the building waving at me.

“Carol Russo?” I say.

“That’s me.”

She is five feet tall, thin, maybe 55 years old, Italian descent. Her smile is like the smile of a real estate broker on a billboard. Brown pants, purple blouse. She carries a white purse that probably cost more than my car.

I get behind the wheel of the cab and she gets in the back.

“Well that was a waste of time!” she says. “They put me in a chair and put these little glasses on me and they attached two electrodes on the sides of my head. They had some music playing too. I honestly don’t know if I was hypnotized or not.”

“Quack like a duck,” I mumble.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing.”

“I have driving anxiety,” she says. “I can’t drive, I just can’t drive. Driving is too stressful.”

She is on the free cab ride voucher system, which was designed to be a service for the severely disabled and elderly. But there are loopholes. I get paid either way. I’m part of the system.

“That’s how I got on this ride program,” she says. “At first they were sending a van to pick me up, and I had to share the ride with other people. One time I had to sit across from a guy who…

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Mather Schneider

Small press burnout. Stories and poetry the best I can. Become a member and help me out: https://matherschneider.medium.com/membership