“So, how’s your night?” asks my fare.
“Just driving around talking to drunk people, man. How you doing?”
He laughs. “I’m great, but not quite drunk. What do drunk people talk about anyway?”
“They talk about the weather a lot. Or they ask about driving a cab.”
“Talking about the weather with drunks, that sounds awesome.”
“It’s a thrill a minute, yo. I didn’t even realize that people actually talked about the weather until I started this job.”
“It’s a hot topic.”
“But that’s the thing, where’s that conversation ever going to go? It’s like, ‘Yeah, I know it’s been raining, I live here too.’”
“Yeah, there aren’t many segues from there. People don’t go like, ‘Today was a nice day…by the way, I’ve lost my faith in God.’”
I laugh. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great conversations with some incredible people, but mostly it’s the same conversation over and over.”
“So what’s the biggest sob story you’ve ever heard? Like the thing that’s affected you the most?”
I think about it for a few seconds, and then tell him the somewhat lengthy story of a brain-damaged man who was thrown into Hooper by cops who assumed that he was drunk, and his mistreatment at the staff’s hands.
We’re silent for a beat. “Shit, dude, that’s pretty goddamn heartbreaking.”
We spend the rest of the ride talking about underground hip-hop.