Chicago's winter cold is legendary. That does not however keep the weather hardened population indoors. So it happens that one evening on the way to a night of clubbing years ago I stood in freezing temperatures waiting for a bus. A cab drove up and the driver leaned across the passenger seat lowered the window and said, "It's too cold to be outside, hop in and I'll at least get you close to a bus. The ride's on me." Grateful for his generosity I got in.
As we rode along he asked me what I did. I explained that I, at that time, managed the men's underwear department at an internationally known upscale department store. He gave me a quick once over through the rear view mirror and asked "You gay?" I said yes, it being past the days when I would lie about such a thing. He grinned and said "You must love that job." I admitted that it did indeed have it's moments.
We came to a strip of bars and restaurants. I offered to get out so he could pick up a paying fare. Looking around he stated "None of these people need a cab" and continued to head forward. Eventually we caught up with a bus which would take me to my destination. I thanked the driver got out and hopped on the bus.
Thank you my anonymous cab driver for that warm ride on that cold night.
Two of the numerous things I have learned during my lifetime are, If you want to make friends with a tattooed guy ask him about his ink. If you want to make friends with a buff guy talk to him about his workout routine.
I walked out of the hotel and eased into the back seat of the first cab in line, as hotel etiquette demands. The driver was cute and handsome at the same time, a rare combination. As I discovered shortly he was Romanian. His tee shirt was stretched tightly over an impressive torso. We began to talk and as is often the case with gym rats our conversation turned to our various fitness endeavors. He claimed, as his biceps bulged while turning the steering wheel. that he did not concentrate on weights focusing instead on cardio.
I came to the conclusion that he was either remarkably genetically gifted, or a really good fibber.
Cab rides are brief chance encounters. You never quite know what you're in for until you open the door. Sometimes it's just a ride, devoid of any interaction other than stating your destination and paying your fare. But every once in a while the ride becomes a story.