Mickeys way back to the Plaza, the nametag hanging from the
rearview mirror tells him his taxi driver is named Ahmad, the same
name as the driver of the taxi he took to LAX. He even looks like
the same guy. Of course, hes wearing a turban, and Mickey
can only see the back of his head. Theres no way to be positive,
but its a pretty cool thought.
looks back at Mickey and begins talking.
day, theres this lady I pick up
Mickey takes the bait.
every day, I pick her up, and she only goes a block.
Mickey stares at his finely manicured hands.
I ask her, I see you walking to the car, why dont you just
walk the block? I mean, really, its not worth her time, never
mind my time. I mean, cmon.
about a week ago, I pick her up and drop her off one block away.
I get a call, so Im distracted, and I accidentally hitI
meanbump her as shes crossing the street. Now she walks
the block. Funny, eh?
collects Civil War pornography. Mickey takes another downer.
looks out the window and peers into the offices as they pass by.
The modeling gig isnt going to last forever, but he sure as
hell isnt going to end up in one of those buildings.
want to do something else, Mickey says out loud.
looks back, wondering what kind of drugs Mickey is on.
dispatcher comes over the radio, drowning out the talk radio station,
and begins yelling at Ahmad, because he was late picking up his
last fare. Im sorry, Ahmad, but this is the third time.
Consider this your last fare for our company. Ahmad mumbles
something under his breath. Mickey isnt sure who Admads
talking to, but hes able to make out the words fuckface
The rest is lost in his accent, but those two words: clear as fucking
day. Ahmad glances at Mickey
through the rearview mirror (catching him checking out his hair).
He shakes his head and grunts, so Mickey says, Bummer, dude.
locks all the doors, rolls up the windows, and steps on the gas.
cool. Mickey tries to talk down Ahmad, who is driving like a maniac
on FDR drive, going around turns that Mickeys Porsche would
have trouble handling.
cannot go on like this! Ahmad screams.
has a plan until they get hit.
explains to him that he can work for another taxi company, and Ahmad
tells him that this is the third company in the last month that
hes been fired from.
asks him to pull over and let him out, because he doesnt want
to get into an accident and have his face scarred. Ahmad says that
hes going to drive them both off the Brooklyn Bridge.
a picture of Kip Winger on a Back to the Eighties issue
of Rolling Stone wedged under the drivers seat. Mickey
hates to think this is the last thing hell see before he dies.
is driving in the breakdown lane. He almost takes out a Ford Taurus
that is overheating and then just misses a tractor trailer thats
changing lanes. Mickey cant look. Instead, he stares back
down at the magazine. In the upper right hand corner is a caption:
Was Garth Brooks serious when he created Chris Gaines?
Good question, man, but no one can answer right now.
sharp left turn out of the breakdown lane causes Mickey to hit his
head against the window, messing up his hair, leaving a gel residue
on the glass. Paul Harvey is telling the rest of the story on the
radio. Hes talking about how kitchen appliances arent
as safe as they used to be.
Harvey doesnt sit in the exit row.
approach the Brooklyn Bridge. Ahmad is chanting something in Arabic
or English. Its hard to say. All Mickey can focus on is Kip
Winger. For what its worth, he wishes he had Kips hair.
across the bridge, Mickeys taken all his downers. He can see
Ahmad gripping the wheel like he really may take a turn for the
worse. Off the bridge.
time to change. Mickeys thoughts with his life on the
yells at Ahmad, telling him to stop, and at that moment, Ahmad slams
on the brakes and pulls to the side, against the bridge. Ahmad turns
up the radio and tells Mickey to quiet down, so he does.
radio announcer is reading the daily lottery numbers, and Ahmad
appears to be making checks on a piece of paper (maybe a lottery
ticket) as the numbers are called. After the first five numbers,
Ahmad puts up his right hand. His fingers are crossed. Please
let it be the number thirty. The next number is thirty. Ahmad
screams. Its a scream of joy. Mickey hopes its a scream
of joy. On the side of the bridge with traffic passing by on the
left, pressed up against the bridge on the right, Ahmad
is screaming something about a winning lottery ticket. Ahmad holds
the ticket up to the rearview mirror,
next to a pine tree deodorizer. Do all taxi drivers have the same
new car scent pine tree deodorizer that has turned brown because
it was bought years ago? Its gotten to the point where its
uncomfortable if a taxi doesnt have one of these.
much did you win? Mickey asks Ahmad, just trying to make conversation,
sounding a little freaked out.
Thats cool, man. See? Fuck this taxi. You dont need
it; youve got thirty-five grand right there. Cool.
Mickey hopes this doesnt mean hes going to take both
of them and the ticket off the bridge.
million, says Ahmad. You have been very good to me,
next five minutes are a blur for Mickey, but heres the gist
of it: Ahmad repeats the amount five times, Mickey says No
way, man six times, Ahmad calls someone and speaks Arabic
to them, confirms the numbers, and then he reaches into the back
seat and grabs Mickeys arm in a strange, friendly sort of
us go to Paris, says Ahmad.
what, dude? Mickey definitely doesnt understand his
accent. I thought you just said Lets go to Paris.
my friend. Lets go. I dont know anyone in this country.
Will you go? Just for the night?
up on downers, this sounds like a good idea to Mickey. He agrees
to go for the night. After all, Mickey knows agency-type people
I feel mentally raped. Cool.
theyre headed to the airport.