Category Archives: Abuse

Choices And Complications

A few months ago I made two consecutive trips that made me ask mental questions about how life choices affect life situations. The first trip was obvious, this person was about to make some very intentional choices that were likely to affect him in a very negative way. The next trip was a woman who seemed to have made a choice not to give up no matter how much things beyond her control were beating her down.

The first call came from a mission which is a Christian oriented rehab center for men struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. When I drove into the parking lot I saw three men, two looked very straight laced. They were wearing white shirts with conservative looking ties, both wore glasses. They were talking to a man between them who looked a little like a football linebacker or a professional wrestler. He was a short white man, very stocky and had no visible neck. His bald head looked like a small ball that had been placed on his short muscular body. The two professional looking men were looking down at him and seemingly giving him instructions or advice. He looked back up at them nodding his head in agreement.

As I popped the trunk the short man quickly loaded his bags and hopped in the backseat. I’ll have to admit that I was a bit shocked by what he said. “I’m not gonna beat around the bush, I want drugs.” I turned around quickly and said I’m sorry but I can’t help you, I don’t do drugs! “Come on man! You’re a taxi driver for Christ’s sakes! Even if you don’t do them you’ve got to know where they are.” I said man, I’m not your father or your social worker or your rehab counselor. I don’t care what you do with your life but I’m telling you I don’t personally know any drug dealers and if I did I wouldn’t take the chance of taking them someone who I’ve never met.

“Surely you must know a part of town where it would be easy for me to find something, don’t you?” As I said, it’s not my job to keep you clean, my job is simply to take you where you want to go. I do know of several fleabag motels where; although I’ve never seen it with my own eyes, I’ve heard rumors of a lot of drug activity and prostitution. “Take me to the worst one” he demanded. OK, I said, we’re on our way. It wasn’t very far from the rehab center to the sleezy motels. He had time to tell me that he wasn’t from here, which I could easily tell from his accent. “I’m from upstate New York” he said proudly as most folks from New York do. “I’ve been stuck in this little hellhole down in the country. I’ve been in Faunsdale, Alabama. Do you know where that is?” I assured him that I did know where the little black belt farming town was located. He never explained how he ended up in Faunsdale, instead he went on to tell me how he had intentionally agreed to come to the mission where I picked him up. “I went ahead and agreed to come talk to these counselors, I just wanted to get to Birmingham to get some drugs. It was the only way I could get out of that hellhole. Now it’s over and I’m ready to have some fun.”

As we approached the motels I showed him the options. I said I was thinking of this one on the right as the most likely one to get what you’re looking for. It was the one with the sign advertising that it’s American owned. I said I’ve actually seen prostitutes here and have heard of constant drug activity. “What about the others?” he asked. Well, across the street is the Milky Way. His eyes lit up as I said it’s name. Apparently he had done some research. “Yeah, I’ve read about that one, it’s one of the one’s I was gonna look for.” Next, I showed him the Recline Inn. It’s the largest of the three but all three are in walking distance of the other. He said “take me to the nearest liquor store and let me stock up before I decide”. I continued on up 1st avenue to the little burglar bar adorned convenience store with the liquor store attached. “Is this a bad part of town?” he asked. It’s not a good one, I told him. There are worse parts. “Is it all black?” Mostly, there are some whites and some Hispanics. “How will the hookers treat me since I’m white?” I’ve never used a hooker but some of the hookers are white themselves and I can’t imagine that the others  would discriminate, as long as you have money. “How bad are the cops?” Well, sometimes they do stings and round up all the hookers and johns, I told him. That seemed to be a risk he was willing to take. He emerged from the ghetto store with a twelve pack of Bud Light and a bottle of vodka. His decision was to  go to the first motel I had shown him. He reasoned that if he didn’t like it, he could walk to one of the others. He had a few more questions before booking the room. “What’s the drug lingo like here?” I said I don’t really know since I don’t do drugs. “Well, how will I ask them?” That’s totally up to you I told him, but it probably won’t be long before you get solicited by a hooker and I can imagine that it’ll just go from there.

He emerged from the grimey no tell, mo-tel office almost giddy. He pointed to the room they rented him and I drove on over so he could get his bags out. He was smiling gleefully now that he was here at this lower than a snake’s belly place where he could indulge his vices. He handed me a huge wad of cash, way more than his fare and said “thank you so much! I really appreciate it!” I simply said good luck buddy.

The second I left this crappy motel my dispatch computer was offering me another call. This one was also in the 110 zone so I knew it wasn’t very far away. It was a house in a run down neighborhood that I wasn’t sure was a house at all at first. It was brick but the windows didn’t look standard, this place looked more like a small warehouse or some other type of structure not for human habitation. I almost called dispatch to make sure they hadn’t given me the wrong address. Then I noticed the faint numbers above the door, this was the correct address. I pressed the callout button and in a minute or so got a message from the dispatchers that the customer was coming out. I still wasn’t completely convinced that anyone would actually come out of this place. About three minutes later I noticed the door gradually crack open. I could see the figure of a very frail African American woman who I would judge to be in her 50’s standing in the doorway supporting herself with an old fashioned walker, the kind without wheels that has to be folded to put in the trunk.

She was wearing a skirt which exposed her legs and feet clad with white sports socks and black leather flats which looked very worn. Her feet seemed to be almost useless except to stand up straight. She moved forward by gaining a firm stand and then lunging the walker out in front of her body, She would then pull her body toward the walker with her feet dangling like a ragdoll’s feet. I turned the car around in the appropriate direction and opened the back door for her. It was excruciating to see this woman drag herself to the car. She had apparently done this many times before. She turned around backwards to sit in the backseat and then pull her legs in. Pulling her legs in was no easy task. She basically had to lie down and force her body to the other side of the car in order to get her feet all the way in. I helped her by putting one of her flats back on that had fallen off in the process.

pig wig

She said “I just need to go to the Piggly Wiggly to get a few things, it’s not very far.” As we traveled the short distance to the pig I thought about the choices she was making to just survive in a cruel world. Was she totally alone? Could she have gotten the supplies any other way? I didn’t know but I did admire her determination to not allow her disability to completely control her life. At the door of the pig the process of getting her out of the car was a little easier than getting her in. She asked the fare and I said don’t worry about it, the guy before you was very generous. He paid for both yours and his fare. Her eyes lit up in disbelief and said “God bless him.” I noticed a scooter with a basket on the front in the store, and asked her if she’d like me to get it for her. “No, honey. It just makes things more complicated.” All I could think was My God, how could it possibly be any more complicated than it is already?

copyright 2014 R.W. Walker

*All views and opinions are strictly those of R.W. Walker. These views do not reflect the views of any cab company.

Bullies

When we get a dispatch, a name usually appears on the screen of the dispatch computer. On this particular night the name was “Patton”. Patton had called from Calypso, the club about halfway up the mountain from Five Points South.

As I arrived I could see a group of young men standing in front of the entrance. As soon as I stopped one of them jumped in the back seat, his buddies were on their way. I asked him his name, he said “what difference does it make?” I told him that someone had called for the cab and I wanted to be sure I was picking up the right person. I looked up ahead and saw that the buddies of the guy in the backseat seemed to be having a confrontation with a much smaller guy that had just walked out of the bar. One of the big guys was pushing him around and calling him “you little faggot”. Another one of the group pushed him again, this time he almost fell. The scene was the exact image that most people think of when they think of bullies. There were three very large young men who looked like preppie jocks. They were college aged, in their early twenties. They were pushing and intimidating a much smaller young man who would have been no match for one of them in a fight, much less three.

bully

I intuitively knew that the victim of these bullies was Patton. It was more than just a gut feeling, I knew it deep down. I got out of the car and with a raised voice yelled IS SOMEONE HERE NAMED PATTON? I”M HERE TO PICK UP PATTON. The little guy raised his hand and said “I’m Patton.” I said come get in the car, this is your cab.

There was one big problem. Before I could get Patton in the car, I had to get the asshole that was already in the backseat, out. Patton’s tormentors started yelling ” hell no, this is our cab, we were here first!”  At this point I was almost certain that a visit from the police was going to be necessary. I looked at the guy in the backseat and said , get your ass out! This is not your cab. Get out now or I’m calling the police! He said “fuck you, cab driver, this is our cab.” I told him and the others to get out and back off or I’m calling the police, RIGHT GODDAMN NOW! They had to see me actually dialing the phone before they backed off. The biggest one told the guy in the backseat “come on, we’ll get another cab. We don’t want to ride with this faggot anyway.”

When he got out I motioned for Patton to get in. As we drove away there was a chorus of “fuck you” and “eat me faggots” as they all gave us the finger and made lewd gestures, grabbing their crotches. Patton said “thank you for standing up for me back there, I appreciate it.” I said no problem, I hate bullies.

copyright 2013 R.W. Walker

*All views and opinions are strictly those of R.W. Walker. These views do not reflect the views of any cab company.

image courtesy of http://www.brainpowerlearning.com

Drunk Daddy

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS VERY HARSH AND EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. MOST READERS ARE LIKELY TO BE VERY OFFENDED AND DISGUSTED BY THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THIS STORY

Some drunks are fun, like the twenty-somethings leaving the bars that are just drunk enough to want to sing. I remember one group singing Comfortably Numb along with the radio at max volume. Some are friendly and talkative, others are just plain silly. They can be annoying as hell but for the most part they’re pretty much harmless. This isn’t a story about one of those kinds of drunks. It’s a story about possibly the most disturbing, disgusting drunk that I’ve ever had to deal with.

The call came from zone 150, Mountain Brook. Calls from this zone are not always as lucrative as one might imagine considering the prestige and income level of this area. You can’t always expect to make a lot here but you can generally expect for it to be a pretty civil trip without too much drama or ridiculousness. Not this time. When I drove up in the driveway, he came out immediately. I could tell he had been hitting the sauce pretty hard. He said “just park over there, let’s take my Hummer.” I said I can’t do that. “Why?” he persisted. Because it’s against the rules was all I could think of to say. I didn’t know if it was or not but I did know if I had wrecked or even put a blemish on that thing that I would never hear the end of it. He persisted, telling me how much nicer it was than the cab. I finally said I know it’s nice, that’s not the point. I’ll lose my job if I do that. I said if you want me to drive you, you’re gonna have to ride in the cab.

He insisted on riding in the front because we were going to pick up his daughter and her friends and they would take up the back. Classic Cars is a venue located beside the railroad tracks and under a bridge. It’s extremely difficult to find unless a person knows exactly where they’re going. Inside is a collection of classic cars in mint condition. There’s a full bar and space for dancing. This venue is often rented out for private parties such as wedding receptions, beer festivals, ect…Tonight it was an alcohol-free dance for teenagers. He began talking all about his family life with his drunken slurred speech. It was clear that he was full of contempt for every person in or associated with his family. He referred to all females, including his wife and daughter, only with the words bitch, cunt, or whore.

He started telling me the story of catching his 14 year old daughter’s boyfriend on his patio smoking pot from a homemade bong. He talked about having a confrontation with this 15 year old kid like the kid was his own age, which I had guessed to be about 45. “I told that little pot smoking motherfucker I’d kick his goddamn ass! I was drinking a Corona in a cup and I just  drunk daddyslashed it in his face. If that motherfucker had come after me I would have kicked his goddamn ass!”. He went on to tell me, “The only reason I’ve got money is because of that bitch I’m married to. I hate her and that little cunt we’re going to pick up.”

When we pulled up at Classic Cars he called his daughter on the phone to come out, he was there to pick her and her friends up. She didn’t waste any time getting to the car but she was alone. “Where are the other two little bitches?” he asked. His daughter sat in the backseat like a perfect little lady. It was clear that she didn’t want to be confrontational at all, she just wanted to go home. She explained that the other two girls said that their mother was coming to get them so we didn’t have to worry about bringing them back. It wasn’t long before Drunk Daddy started verbally abusing his daughter. He slurred ” I don’t like that little pot smoking motherfucker you’re fucking around with.” He then told her that he had thrown beer in the kid’s face. She sat stoically in the back. I could hear her barely mumble “I don’t believe this”.

“Are you fucking that little motherfucker?” he asked. “I know you are you little cunt. Why don’t you just go ahead and let him stick his goddamn dick in your little pussy and put a baby in there so that me and your mama can dig it out of your fucking little cunt with a goddamn coathanger?” I’m 53 years old and I have never in my life heard a grown man talk to a 14 year old girl this way. I was completely appalled and disgusted but what was I going to do short of starting a fist fight with this drunk asshole. In hindsight, I thought that I should have just put his ass out on the side of the road and taken the girl home. I wasn’t thinking straight at the time, I just wanted to get this scumbag home and out of my car. The little girl never raised her voice, I guess she was used to taking shit off this stupid bastard.

We were almost home, we were turning off of highway 280 onto Overton Road when the situation suddenly became much more complicated. The girl got a phone call. It was the mother of one of the other two girls making sure they were being brought home. The two girls had lied to Drunk Daddy’s daughter because they wanted to stay longer at the dance. Back to Classic Cars. Drunk Daddy is scowling and cursing the entire way, calling the girls every derogatory name that’s ever been thought of for women. Drunk Daddy’s daughter had to go in and get them, turns out they were just trying to buy more time with their boyfriends. Apparently they were neighbors or staying over at Drunk Daddy’s house. That’s where they were going, not another location.

When they got in the car, he came out with “hello you little cunts.” Then he started to give what I assume he thought was fatherly advice. “You know, boys only want one thing out of little whores like you. They want to stick their dicks in your little holes.” All three girls seemed terrified of this idiot. They were completely quiet except for an occasional “Yes sir” when he was spewing his filthy bullshit.

When we pulled up in the driveway all three girls bolted. They were gone in two seconds flat. Drunk Daddy didn’t get out. He was one of those drunk assholes that just wanted to hang around and keep me from leaving. Thank God his wife came out. She was livid. “Pay this man and get your stupid drunk ass out of the car” she said. “Brittany’s dad knows you’re drunk! He’s never letting her come over again!” she angrily told him. “How much do I owe you?” he asked. With all the running back and forth the fare had run up to $65. He handed me a $100 bill and said “Keep the change for putting up with my shit.” I said thank you.

copyright 2013 R.W. Walker

*All views and opinions are strictly those of R.W. Walker. These views do not reflect the views of any cab company.