"Those people need a cab."

"Sucks for them," I say as I pull into my friends' driveway. It's 2 o'clock on a massively busy night, and I've made enough money. I'm going to sit out the bar rush, hang out with my friends and listen to music.

"But they've got a kid!" I squint at the people waving from the other end of the block, and one of them is indeed holding a small child.

The couple's in their early 30s; the little boy's around 4. The man's holding a mostly empty handle of whiskey, and asks how much it'll cost to get to Southeast 52nd and Woodstock. When I guess $15, he shrugs and says they'll walk.

It's 28 degrees out, and none of them are dressed for it. I insist that they get in.

As I drive, the man and woman complain ceaselessly as the child sleeps. About how the busss aren't running, about the "niggers" they got in a fight with at the MAX stop, about how society's fucked and there aren't any good people. About what victims they are.

I don't talk until they try to thank me. I growl in a low voice that they've done a horrible thing to their child, that he's the one I'm giving a ride, and that otherwise they'd be walking. The man just grumbles that it ain't his kid, and they fall back to arguing.

I drop them off, and hurry back to the warmth of my friends' company.