Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pedro's Back From Jail

We exited wearily into the arrivals terminal at JFK and walked that weird gauntlet of disregard, the rows of other peoples’ families and limo drivers holding up names in magic marker. Almost as soon as we entered the main space, gypsy cabbies descended upon us: Need a taxi? Where you need to go? Taxi? Taxi? Where you go? I had anticipated this little ritual and had fantasized about telling them Fuck off. But I didn’t. This is what they do. Let a man make a dishonest living, after all.

Outside, we got in the long line for Yellow Cabs. On the other side of the railing the non-licensed guys ranged up and down the median, trying to rope in their marks. We watched with some amusement as a young Asian woman talked one down from sixty-five bucks to thirty for a ride to Nassau County, only to leave him twisting in the wind.

Suddenly one man’s voice cut through the rest.

“Yo Pedro’s back!” he bellowed. “Pedro’s back motherfuckers! Y’all can go home now,” he told his rivals. “Pedro’s back from jail!”