“Some asshole bit my fucking nose off,” he grumbles.
“So I guess they tried to sew it back on?” I ask.
“Does it really look that bad? I haven’t seen it yet.”
I tilt the rearview mirror so he can see, and hit the dome light.
“Fuck, dude, I look like Michael Jackson.”
I can’t really think of anything encouraging to say, so I ask where he’s going. I’m glad to hear “Washougal” come back. The hospital gives vouchers to indigent patients so that they can get a cab home; I’ll get paid one way or another.
As we drive, he explains he’d just gotten out of jail and was out drinking with his girlfriend. There was some argument with another guy that ended up with the tip of my fare’s nose getting bitten off as he tried to slam his opponent’s head into the sidewalk.
We get out to Washougal, and it turns out that he doesn’t have a voucher. His credit card is declined. The friends who’d said they’d pay don’t answer the door. His girlfriend doesn’t answer the phone. No help from his aunt.
I’m tired, and I don’t want to deal with the cops. I take down his information, certain that I’ll never see the seventy bucks. I consider asking for a photograph as payment, but decide against it.