Beat Up

Ben2    Ben sticks his bruised and battered head in the window of my cab and says he wants to know if I take cards and
“How much (is it) to Sleepy Hollow?”

“Yes and about $15,” I answer.
“OK,” Ben responds as he carefully and painfully eases into the back seat.

“How’d you get so banged up?” I ask.
“I crashed my bike on Pine (Street) in the city. It was my own damn fault,” he says. “But last night, I was just hanging in Hayes Valley, no wait, maybe it was Union Square, and this guy socked me, knocked me out cold. I was just asking him a question. Next thing I knew this Canadian sailor was feeding me coffee.
Through the mirror, Ben’s fresh cuts and scabs seems to make his story ring true.

“What do you do for a living, Ben?”, I ask.
”A student,” he says. “got one more semester at College of Marin. Then I don’t know what’s next.”
Ben seems not only hurting but lost.
“Some bros are gonna chill in Thailand for a while. My buddy Dwayne is gonna open a microbrewery. He started it in the kitchen of his frat house.”

We reach his destination, unscathed. I take $20.40 from his Visa card.

“Take it easy, Ben”, I say as I hand him the receipt.
“Yeah, bye”, he answers.

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