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    Dan Fante

    41. 1647 Ocean Front Walk

    By Dan Fante

    Nothing stops it—the emptiness of being alone.

    It was September. Still morning rush hour, and I was chugging along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, empty. Another cloudless, flawless, fucking L.A. day.

    My Chevy taxi #855 had been overheating consistently for a week in the summer heat, and for the last two shifts in a row the problem was worse. My cab was an ex-Highway Patrol cruiser with over 200,000 miles on the odometer.

    I hated being assigned to this vehicle. Not only because of its cop history, but because of the steady night guy who drove #855. A fat Guatemalan fuck named Sergio. Sergio refused to report mechanical problems on the car the way it says to do on the SHIFT TURN-IN form that everybody is required to sign. According to a rumor passed along by JJ, the mechanic, my night man Sergio was devoting the bulk of his evenings to smoking cheap reefer and chasing crackhead pussy downtown near the Staples Center. The asshole was apparently unconcerned by the steam hissing out from under the hood of Cab #855. That left me—on my shift time—to deal with all the repair stuff. I’d complained repeatedly without result. This was because, coincidentally, Raoul the night dispatcher was Sergio’s brother-in-law, his sidekick at hounding pussy, and not coincidentally, also a prize Guatemalan sack of shit. It had taken two hours that morning for JJ to mickey-rig #855 so I could work my shift.

    While waiting in the repair shop, I’d occupied my time visualizing Sergio and Raoul . . . Read More.

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