Cabfare from the Airport

by William Trowbridge

BUOYED BY THE START of his Caribbean holiday package,
Fool offers the driver too big a tip, which turns out
to be some sort of insult in this country. Fool doesn't
need to speak Spanish to get the picture, snarls being part
of a universal language, as is dropping a passenger off
in the part of town the police, whom almost everybody
fears, are afraid to stop in. Fool's money belt is full
of moths, but he looks like a dollar sign to the people
in this neighborhood. He asks a man with a flaming Jesus
tattooed on his back where the Hotel Paradiso is. When Fool
tries hand signals, the man thinks he is a rich homosexual
trolling for buggery.
                             The nurse in intensive Care
hands Fool a waste basket to bleed in while he waits
for the doctor, who is also the mayor's nephew, which
is his only medical credential. Luckily, the doctor is out
on a three day bender and Fool's allowed to leave
after the bleeding stops and in exchange for his watch.
Fool walks the streets, sucking in breaths of supposedly
fresh air. "Yes!" he cries, botching a stutter-step.

Originally published in Ship of Fool (Red Hen Press).

3 Like
Log in to rate
0 Dislike