Car 6

Car 6

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life Most Horrifically

There is a play (and a movie) called "Hellcab". It is written by a former Chicago cab driver. The play is the day in a life of a Chicago cab driver and the events are based on experiences he has had.

In the play there is a scene where he picks up a young woman and she tells him she was raped...just now.

One night, I picked up a young woman and she told me she was raped...just now.

I was called to do a pick up at a convenience store. This one was down the street from a bar and across the street from a townhouse complex. When I pulled up a slender woman with auburn hair and pale skin entered the back. I confirmed her name and her destination and started the meter. When she answered she could not make eye contact and her voice was shaky.

"Ma'am, are you all right?"

She chocked for a second.

"I was just raped" She looked out the window. I knew this scene. I don't like this scene.


"Just now." Her voice was a monotone.

"Shit." I had nothing else.

After a pause I asked,"Did you need me to take you to a hospital or a police station."

"No. He destroyed me, but he didn't hurt me. Little tearing I guess. As far as cops. What's the point? I know the son of a bitch. I'll have to relive something I want to forget again and again and again and he'll walk and I'll have a scarlet letter on my chest for asking for it because I'm pretty or wore perfume and all the usual bullshit."

"Yeah. I'm sorry."

"So am I," the choke turned into a sob, we still had a few miles to go. After a few moments she commented,"Why am I telling you all this? You must think I'm a slut who asked for it."

"Why? Because I drive a cab, have a few tats, wear a skull ring and am wearing a biker jacket? OR, could it be because I am a man?"

She almost smiled a second and said,"Yes to all."

"Well, I'm also kinda a flaming liberal who has a daughter and hates our rape culture and slut shaming that we do to victims. That is all fine and good, but I am breaking for you, hate the guy who hurt you and wishes like hell that this never happened. But it did and it ain't your fault and it was done to you and I'm not a therapist so I am just gonna stop there."

"Do you think I'm doing this wrong?"

I blew out a long sigh. "I think there is a lot wrong with this justice system. You have to do what is best for you. I wish I could tell you your prediction is wrong."

"You believe me, don't you?"


"I don't have many that would. I don't want to tell people. Could I tell you what happened? It's okay if  you don...."

"We only have 4 miles left, kiddo, " interrupted, "tell me."

She told me her story. Out of respect to her, that is all that needs to be said, she told me her story. Every detail, every inflection, every moment.

When we got to her apartment she paid me, told me to keep the change and when she handed me the money she gripped my hand with both of hers. It was a hug of sorts. I waited for her to get in the building. I pulled into a closed grocery store parking lot near her place, hit my steering wheel a few times, screamed till my throat was raw and cried. Then I had a cigarette and moved on to the next fare.

No comments:

Post a Comment