"Thanks for holding your cab for me," I said.
"Of course! Someone's always stealing your cab," he said. "When I heard your name over the radio, I wasn't going to let anyone else in."
I take cabs from the same company all the time, so they've gotten to know me over the past several months.
"Hey," he said. "Do you hang out with that guy with the beard and the short hair?"
"Did he forget his bag in my cab?"
"So this is where the Palinode left it. Yes!"
"I still have it. I was going to throw it out tonight. I've been driving around with it for three weeks."
"It's a good thing I missed my first cab, then. Otherwise, we wouldn't get his bag back."
"Yeah. I drove around your apartment when I found it and honked and yelled a lot, but no one came out. I couldn't tell if you were in there. I didn't want to go looking in your windows, because that would seem creepy."
"Yeah, it would. Why didn't you ring our buzzer?"
"It was cold out. I was too lazy to get out of the car. So, that's your apartment over there on the left, yeah?"
"Yeah." I replied in the affirmative, because I figured it was pretty obvious to anyone who drove me home which apartment was mine.
"And that's your kitchen, yeah?" he said, pointing at my kitchen window. "And that's your bathroom? And that's your living room?" He pointed at those windows, too.
My cabbie was thoroughly creeping me out. I kept searching through my bag for my money, but it had all fallen out of my wallet somehow, which is why I was stuck talking to this prime stalker material for so long.
"He will probably be happy to get his bag back. I found appointments and receipts in there. He looks like a busy guy. He's a writer, isn't he? I'm sorry, but I snooped through everything."
Woah. What? This guy knew where every room in my apartment was situated, he knew who I lived with, and now he was telling me that he'd gone through the Palinode's personal information thoroughly? And why had he held onto the bag for weeks instead of turning it over to the company's lost and found? Something told me that the freak had been looking in my windows.
After he handed me the Palinode's bag, which had a spanky new funky smell attached to it, I pretty much threw a ten-dollar bill at him, told him to keep the change, and went into my building as quickly as possible. I wish I'd been a little less hasty, though, because I neglected to take note of his taxi license or his plate numbers. It's a good thing that I'm not an international spy.
So, I think I'm switching cab companies. And growing an extra set of eyes. And hiring a burly body guard. And covering my windows in tin foil. And changing my name to Yolanda. How do you think I'd look in a blonde wing?
PS. I'd report him, but my description of him describes almost every other cabbie in the company. If he had blue hair or facial scars or something, then I would definitely call. As it stands, I would be pointing my finger at probably thirty guys.
PPS. Also? He said too much for someone who has ulterior motives. At least, that's how it seems to me. I think he's probably loads of creepy with diagnosable social issues but without the tendency to violate people using illegal behaviour.
PPPS. It's also been pointed out to me that the cab company likely has a record of the fares sent that night, so I can still complain, although I think I'll hold off on that. I'm sticking with my move to cut off our chance meetings by changing the company I use.
PPPPS. Also, I kicked off a week-long photo series I'm doing over at Life As A Human Photography called Love So Sweet as a lead-up to Valentine's Day. My first photo in the series is "Be Mine, Sunshine".