During taxi driving nights, after streets get more desolate and bartenders yell last calls and soldiers of glass towers head home, I reach the bottom of the barrel of the city. I scrape the crust with one last fare and then head for one of downtown’s four-five star hotels and park in the cab stand. After a couple hour nap or writing one of these posts, I pick up the first hotel guest hoping they’re headed for the airport and drive them with half shut eyelids and finally reach the shores of my bed by sunrise. Friday night, I was on my way to the Drake hotel that a whistle made me come to a halt. The whistler, standing across the street wearing a brand coat and pointy leather shoes, was waving at me. He jumped in and asked me to take him to “Spy Bar”, a boom boom so called glamour club with security staff and VIP shit… from his lingo that was a blend of latin hustler and New Jersey gangsta, and his bloody red eyes, it was obvious that he was flying high and his drunkenness could ignite his high brain to an explosion in the cab. With an announcement tone he said: My name is Juan Pita. The famous Juan Pita! Tonight is my birthday. I was at a boat party til now with tons of hot chicks. I asked how old he is. He said: 29 years old. His parents were mexican and he grew up in Brooklyn. I asked: What are you doing in this damn city east coast boy? He said: I am a pastry chef at a top restaurant. i am the best pastry chef in town! I used to own my own restaurant in the burbs and sold it. I asked: How come you went from owning your restaurant to being a pastry chef? He said: Getting paid by someone is more worth it than being the one who has pay out. He was separated from his wife and had a son who he loved madly. I asked: How come you are all alone on your birthday? He said: No dude my friends are all waiting for me at the club. VIP bitch! You know what? Why don’t you park your car and and come with me. I’ll buy you shots til morning. I said: Boss I can’t be driving drunk plus I gotta work. He kept insisting that he wanted to take me to VIP to his buddies. He said: I’ll pay the rest of your night. How much you want? I said: $50. He said: OK dude 50 bucks is nothing. When we arrived at spy bar I start to look and finally found parking a few blocks away. He said let’s go cabbie. I said OK but can you give the cash first? He said: Dude you don’e trust me? I said: I do but let’s do it now to get it over with. He said he had no cash. I said I take credit card too. The meter was at $6 at that point. He reluctantly handed me his credit card and said: make it $11 and I’ll give you the rest on the way back I swear. I’ll take care of you there man. I was in doubt that he said: Come on man! Be my body guard. Have my back til I get home cause I’m gonna get crazy tonight. My morbid curiosity once again defeated my logic and wearing flip flops, a white sweat shirt, and with a thick beard, with Juan Pita the pastry chef, we entered the club street. Click here to continue reading the next part.
Chicago – Fall 2014