"He asked her out for a date! ... Can you believe it! A date!"
Mohammed to looked at me shaking his head in disbelief.
"A Date!" he repeated throwing up his hands in exasperation. "Well - I can tell you, Hortense didn't like it one bit. She didn't say anything but I could tell - one more fuck up like that and I lose the account."
He circled the room, combing back his medium black hair with his right hand while his left punctuated his speech.
"These woman aren't sluts or whores ... they're refined, elegant ladies. Like gishas or concubines ... And, no full-timers - Hortense is adamant about that. These woman are housewives and college students, single mothers. MBAs and lawyers laid off by the recession. They have husbands and lovers - fiancees ... and Nick the dick asks one out for a date."
"Hard to believe," I said shaking my head.
Mohammed was interviewing me. He was looking me over to see if I had enough class to handle the job. He was looking for three or four good men to take care of the business he couldn't deal with himself.
"And the cliental," he said with an air of disbelief, "the creme de la creme. These men are movers and shakers, computer geniuses, CEOs - the princes of Silicon Valley ... I mean these are 50, 100, 200 dollar rides - and he wants a date!"
I shook my head again as Mohammed stared intently at me, searching into my soul.
"The smuc just didn't know his place," I said as Mohammed suspiciously eyed me. "I wouldn't dream of taking one of those women out."
Gabriella, my first ride, was everything Mohammed said she was. Elegant, refined, 22, wearing designer clothing by Versace and shoes by that Italian dude - Gucci isn't it? She had classic cheek bones and straight black hair that hung to her shoulders and an ethereal look but with a hard cut.
I figured her for a poetics major from Bryn Mawr who'd gotten real and was going for that Standford MBA.
I didn't lie to Mohammed. I wouldn't dream of asking this woman out. What I asked her instead was, "how much for half and half?"
She glanced at me with distain and haughtily replied, "If you have to ask you can't afford it."
"Too bad," I said, "I was thinking of splitting the fare with you."
We were heading for San Jose - a $150 ride. She warmed up and leaned her elbows on the top of the passenger seat. "Well" she said, "I guess I could give you the cabbie special - how about half for half? - Only don't tell Hortense."
Way above my ordinary budget but this woman was refined.
It turned out that the computer genius, mover and shaker, CEO, prince asshole was a regular. He opened the door and gave Gabriella a long, passionate kiss; sticking his tongue down the soft, velvet pallet that I'd explored not ten minutes earlier.