I was tired of being a taxi driver, and I wanted to help humanity. Saving lives…
So, I signed up to drive an ambulance. You don’t need medical training, just the ability to avoid a head-on collision.
The night shift is a shift. When I drove a taxi, the monsters came out at night, the prostitutes, the mealy-mouthed gangsters. I worked in a bureaucracy for three years, pushing mail for the post office, but sitting in the same place, making the same movements, is a way to die. In fact, you pray for death, but it doesn’t come, and you realize, the human body is indestructible, and the human spirit is revitalized by alcohol, and other intoxicating addictions, like women. My girlfriend was always threatening to leave me, just like I was always threatening to leave my job, but I never did, and she never did.
One day, we both left. It felt so good, that I wondered about the other things I might leave behind. Losing things, is a sense of freedom, but the average shmuck would rather not have anything, than lose something. When you have debt, or responsibilities, they vanish when your pulse stops. Then somebody else, has to bury your body. It makes me feel warm inside, like, fuck you all— it feels good. Now I know why people consider suicide. If you lose your life, the soul is the only entity to worry, and it doesn’t need anything.
During the interview, fat men in suits, asked me why I wanted the job. I lit a cigarette…
“You can’t smoke in here.”
“Sir, I believe I can.”
“Put it out.”
I pushed it into their table. “See, I can follow orders.”
“It says here, that you have three tickets for excessive speeding.”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Upwards of 120 miles per hour?”
“Yes. Probably 130. Those retired police cruisers have trouble in the red line. The Chargers now, those babies, don’t.”
“How do you explain yourself?”
“Sirs, normally I don’t, but because I want this job, I will.”
The first one, was for a woman who was in labor. Doctors said, if she got to the hospital a minute later, she would’ve lost the baby. She named her kid after me.”
“I go by Colton Drake Busby. From the South, you know.”
“No—Drake sounds English.”
“Whatever. The second one, is the kind to write home about. There was a gang war, and I was in the area. I picked up a black guy who had been shot. Sometimes, when this happens, the white guy driving an ambulance, stops for a doughnut and coffee. I’m from the South, so this story is pertinent. There were 9MM shell casings scattered around the guy’s body, and he was lying in a pool of blood. I asked him, “Buddy, how many times have you been shot?”
“And he looked up at me with those almond-colored eyes and said, “This is my first time.”
When I moved him into my cab, it was like blood draining out of a sieve. Did you know, that my taxi agency charged me for the blood on my seats? I maintain that it was because it was black blood, but, who can know. Institutionalized racism, and I’m from the South, don’t forget that. Racism, is practically a way of life down there. I had to display a confederate flag in some neighborhoods, just so certain people—connected, you know—wouldn’t destroy my cab with their hate.”
“And the third?”
“And the third. Well, I can’t tell a lie—I wanted to know how fast my taxi would go. It’s no different than a submarine captain who takes their vessel down to crush depth. You never know, when a Fortune 500 CEO, needs to get to a meeting, and he’s running 10 minutes late. I might be able to save shareholders millions of dollars, just to get him to his meeting on time, or her, I’m not sexist. Now, what we’re talking about here, is saving lives. Gentlemen, you are looking at a unique talent—a man who will break the rules, by pressing the gas, to preserve the sanctity of life. What do you think, am I worthy?”
The bureaucrats looked at me with mild amusement. They had to follow the rules all day, and there was something inside them, that wanted to give me a chance.
“He seems like he would be a good shadow for Malcom.”
“Yeah—Malcom has been lonely, as of late—and the medical guys, get on his nerves.”
“You might be able to work with Malcom. Nobody is faster than he is. You got the job.”