It was a slow weekday afternoon, and I was pulling into West Towne to hang in front of the food court. Sometimes, there were time calls at the mall, sometimes flags, and I didn't have anything better to do.
As I pulled off Gammon rd., I came along side Mean Gene coming out. He rolled down his window and asked me if I'd take somebody to the bus, and I said, sure. It was something to do. So the back passenger door of his cab opened, and who should stand up, but that trouble maker with the gravely voice from 2 years ago. He didn't recognize me. He got in the back, and said he wanted to go to the bus. Nothing special. So, I said to myself, I'll take him direct, I just want him out of the cab, I don't want any trouble, and rush hour is about to start, so downtown will be a good place to be.
I drove him to the bus. We didn't talk on the way. When we got to the bus he said it was a real good ride. What was my name he asked, he said he wanted to ask for me in the future. R. C. I told him. It was safe to give him my name, because I was notorious for my policy of, I DO NOT DO PERSONALS. He gave me a twenty and to my great surprise, told me to keep it. He had a wad of cash in his pocket that would choke a horse. While he was stuffing the wad back in his pocket, he dropped another 2 twenties on the ground, and shuffled away from them toward the bus. I quickly scooped them up, and got the hell out of there. Forty bucks was nowhere close to adequate compensation for the trouble he caused me, I said to myself.
What I didn't know, and certainly didn't plan on, was how persistent was. Well, he was persistent the first time I ran into him, but I never talked to him on the phone, so I just didn't know, right? He was now my personal, and if I was on the road, for about the next 5 years, if he was in town, he wouldn't have anybody else for a driver but me.