Five Rights

I didn’t understand the path we took.
I asked the driver,
“We’re heading downtown?”
He looked in the mirror, nodded.
“I don’t know the route.”
He didn’t say anything,
didn’t ask me why I needed
to micromanage him
why I couldn’t let him do his job
just as I was doing mine
in the backseat
sucking my percentages out of clients
while they did their own jobs.

“Sixth Street,” he replied.
“We’re still going to Sixth.”
“On the East Side, though.
“You just went West.”
“Couldn’t make the left on a two-way street,”
he explained. “Sometimes, you gotta make three rights
to go left.”
I nodded, considering his logic.
“And sometimes,” he chuckled,
“You gotta make five rights
– when the fare forgets his wallet at the office
and you have to go back
if you wanna get paid.”

“Or hers.”
“What?” His reflection raised an eyebrow
back in my direction.
“If a woman forgets her wallet,” I added.
He snorted. “Women don’t forget wallets.
“And even if they do, they’ve got other money set aside
somewhere in their bag.”

I learned a lot on that ride
– mostly not
to trust the wisdom
of a chatty cabbie
who seems to resist
the micromanagement
I so frequently seem to require

from those I pay for services.

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