Sleepy Cab

Sometimes on the weekends I’d be driving cab so late that all the drunks had gotten home and it had become the next day.

And then I’d get a DIA trip.

It would mean another 50 minutes there and 50 minutes back, but it would also mean another 100 bucks, so I couldn’t pass it up.

I’d pick the person up – them fresh morning crisp, me night-worn and sagging.

“Just getting started?” they’d ask.

“Yup,” I’d lie.

And then we’d hit the road, traffic-empty and covered in a dark blue-gray dawn sky.

The passengers wouldn’t say anything. The drunks talked too much, so it was a relief. And I could just relax and start thinking about the night, money, going home.

Then suddenly my neck would snap up, and I’d realize I was just asleep.

I’d look out, and the car would still be driving between the lines. And I’d look back, and the passenger would still be calm and quiet. Phew, I’d think, no consequences.

But then I’d start thinking to myself again, and the same thing would happen.


I knew there should be a crash and/or customer outrage, so I hadta fight to stay awake. Bugging my eyes out, shaking my head, concentrating hard to will away the sleepy.

But it was no use. Head snapping over and over until I swear I’d end up driving completely asleep for that last 10 miles stretch down Pena Blvd.

When we’d finally get to the curb, I’d wake up again. They’d get out, grab luggage from the trunk, sign the credit card, leave a normal tip, and say nothing but, “Thanks.”

Then I’d shrug and drive back to Boulder just fine.

This sleepy cab thing happened a lot. And I always got away with it. I don’t know why.

February 2018, Boulder, CO

Listen to “Sleepy Cab” here!

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