The taxi driver greets me and I sit down, announcing my name so he knows he picked up the correct person.
He taps knowingly on his mounted display to see where I’m headed. Vancouver General Hospital.
We make a left onto Kingsway and off we go.
He looks at me a few times, as if seeing a human for the first time. He leans forward, to see more of my face.
“.. you a man or woman?” He asks, pleasantly enough that I suspect he means no foul.
“Sort of…Both ish?” I respond, making light of it to diffuse the sudden awkwardness I feel.
“I’m on hormone therapy..” I add, hoping that’ll explain it. He looks at me, taking this information in. He looks a cross between confused and intrigued.
We sit for a few moments in silence. He inhales, another question no doubt. “So you have tits?” He asks, reaching a hand across the center console and resting his hand on my left breast for a rub and squeeze.
As much as one can, crammed into a cab, I recoil to increase physical distance. He removes his hand and we sit again in excruciating silence for what felt like hours. I’m frozen.
“What you got down there?” He asks me, gesturing to his own crotch to indicate where exactly he meant.
I don’t know what to tell him. I feign not hearing him. “You got a p*ssy?” He asks, and for the first time he smiles a wide smile. Again I’m lost in silence, feeling trapped in his cab.
“Show it to me.” Not sure if this is a request or an order. I’m frozen and unsure how to respond. We’re still blocks from the hospital – where I’m headed to get some company – and I lose my presence of mind to ask to get out.
I didn’t end up replying, only smiling instead, a half smile nailed to my face, hoping that’s enough.
We arrive and he brings the vehicle to a stop. Reaching over he rubs me shoulder as if to reassure me. “You very nice…” He informs me. “You need cab home?”
I politely tell him I might be several hours. “I give you my number ..You call.” He offers.
I thank him for the ride as I exit the cab and head into the Emergency room terrified to look back.
I did want company, I guess.