Mather Schneider, 8/11/2014

Current occupation: cab driver
Former occupation: collection agent
Contact Information: Mather Schneider was born in 1970 in Peoria, Illinois. He now lives in Tucson, Arizona, is married to a beautiful Mexican woman and drives a cab for a living. He has been published in the small press since 1993 and has 3 full length books available on Amazon.





0500 hours: Pitch black morning. Pick up 3 Mexicans, 1 woman, 2 men, from the Desert Vista trailer court and take them to McDonald’s where they all work. The woman chatters in Spanish the whole way in a tone of irrepressible optimism. The men just grunt occasionally. 2 buck tip. Total: 14 bucks.


0602: Still very dark. Pick up a middle aged white guy from the Palm Glenn Apartments, take him to the methadone clinic on First and Grant. I wait 3 minutes while he goes in and downs his weekly shot, then take him home. “What’s that stuff taste like?” I ask. “Kind of like cough syrup,” he says. 2 buck tip. Total: 18 bucks.


0710: Getting lighter. Pick up a very tall, well-built Mexican American guy standing at the gas station on Columbus and Grant. He’s missed his bus. I take him downtown to the central city bus station so he can catch another bus and go to work at something called an “engineering parts warehouse.” On the way he tells me

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he is addicted to morphine because of his many injuries during his days as a lucha libre wrestler. When he shakes my hand goodbye he almost crushes it. 3 buck tip. Total: 24 bucks.


0830: Sun creeping up over the mountains. Picked up a middle aged bald white guy at the Day’s Inn near the freeway. Took him to the adult probation building off Ajo. On the way we went through Carl’s Jr. drive-through so he could get breakfast. As he ate it he told me his wife had left him and he’d gotten 3 dui’s afterwards, spent 6 months in jail, just got out, now has to do community service. He laughed and showed no bitterness. He was happy I got him there in time for him to have a smoke before entering. 4 buck tip. Total: 23 bucks.


0922: Fully light now. Pick up a young Mexican American guy at the Orange Grove Apartments and take him to a fancy restaurant where he is a dishwasher. He asks me how my Thanksgiving was. I tell him it was nice. No tip. Total: 10 bucks.


0954: Sun bright, rush hour over. Pick up a woman at Fort Lowell Exhaust Works where she leaves her BMW to get fixed. Take her to work at a public relations company on Speedway Boulevard. She is

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pretty and about as interesting as a perfect little circle. 2 buck tip. Total: 12 bucks.


1041: Sun hot through the windows. Pick up an Asian college girl from Rio Cancion Apartments. Wait 14 minutes for her to come out. When she does she is visibly stoned and I can smell the marijuana on her. She texts on her phone the whole way. When she gets out at the college campus she trips over the curb and leaves the cab door open. 3 buck tip. Total: 19 bucks.


1130: Sun high, short shadows. Pick up a medical student at Mountain Oasis Apartments and take him to the university hospital where he is an intern. At the stop sign near his house a young man crosses the street in front of us carrying a gallon of chocolate milk. He scowls at us mysteriously. “Looks like he’s got a stick up his ass,” the medical student says. I agree with this diagnosis. 2 buck tip. Total: 12 bucks.


1158: Getting a headache from the brightness. Pick up a white college girl from Park Vista apartments. I call her on the phone and tell her I’m here. I can’t understand her response and accuse her of being on speaker phone. When she gets in the cab I

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realize she has a speech impediment. Takes her to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment. Hope she was ok. One buck tip. Total: 8 bucks.


1239: Roll up my sleeves from the heat. Pick up an Asian girl from The Crossings apartments. She has 3 suitcases that all are larger than she is. Take her to the airport. On the way a semi truck starts easing into my lane and almost runs me off the road. I lay on my horn and speed up to get ahead of him and not get smashed. Afterwards I look back at the Asian girl. She acts like she has not even noticed. At the airport I get her bags out and ask the airport worker standing there if she can use one of his carts for her bags. “NO,” he says, “How’d you like it if she drove off in your cab?” “Well, she needs a little help, then,” I say. “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” he says. 3 buck tip. Total: 31 bucks.


1311: The day tilts and starts going downhill. Pick up an old drunk from a crumbling one room adobe house on the south side. Take him to Circle K to get a bottle of something and smokes, then take him home. Like many old drunks I have known he doesn’t have a single gray hair on his head. The fare is 8 bucks and he

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gives me a 20. I give him 13 bucks back and he then tosses me a dollar, which I think is a tip. Almost write “9 bucks” until I realize I had given him the wrong change in the first place. Total: 8 bucks.


1407: Visor down now when driving toward the west. Pick up a young white kid from Holbrook apartments. He doesn’t answer his phone and I have to search for 10 minutes on foot to find number 12588 and knock. Take him to a psychiatric clinic on Broadway. On the way he puts headphones on and turns the music up so high it drowns out the cab radio. Whenever I turn up the cab radio he turns up his headphones. I finally let him win. When we get to the facility it is huge and looks like it was designed by one of the mental patients. No tip. Total: 13 bucks.


1510: Sun flirting with the Tucson mountains. Pick up a middle aged lady from a 500,000 dollar house in the foothills. She appears to be drunk. Take her to a bakery less than a mile from her house. The fare is 5 bucks. She looks at me and says, “This is a free ride, right?” I say, “No, ma’am.” She says, “It was supposed to be free.” I say, “Why’s that?” She says, “Forget it.” Then she rummages in her expensive purse for her money,

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gives me a 5 and gets out. Afterwards I see she has dropped a 20 dollar bill on the floor. Total: 25 bucks.  


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