Current Issue

email this link

Random Haiku Generator
Poem of the Day
Flash Fiction


Le Taxi Driver
by Alicia Gifford



“How was Paris?” Henri asks as he loads their bags into the trunk of his taxi.

“Heaven,” says the woman.

“We had a terrific time,” says the man. They’re regular fares of his who book him whenever they need to get to and from LAX.

“We brought you your Gauloises,” the woman says, handing him a carton of cigarettes.

“Ah, merci,” Henri says. He gets into the driver’s seat and pulls away from the curb. They’re almost out of the airport when his cell-phone rings.

“Allo? I can’t talk, I’m working.” He listens and then says, “Maybe not today, I’ll call you later,” and he clicks the phone off. The phone rings again. He looks at the incoming number and rolls his eyes to the ceiling. “Mon dieu,” he growls.

“Allo? I told you I’m working, I’ll call you when I’m free.” He listens, holding the phone away from his ear. “LATER,” he says, and hangs up.

Henri waves the cell phone in the air. “My life is ruined with this goddamn thing,” he says. “Before this goddamn phone I could sneak around. Pussy here, pussy there, no one the wiser. Now they call and ask me, where are you? Who are you with? When will I see you? None of your goddamn business I want to tell them. All I want is a piece of ass!”

In the back seat the woman giggles.

Henri goes on. “I can’t be faithful to one woman. Impossible.”

“You haven’t met the right woman,” the husband says, tweaking his wife’s nipple.

“Monogamy’s not so bad,” says the wife, cupping her husband’s crotch.

“Bah, I get bored to tears with one woman,” he says. “They want to cook for me? I’ll eat their goddamn food. They want to make love to me? I’ll screw them blind, I won’t say no. But then they want to get married and leash me like a dog? To hell with that.”

The wife looks at her husband. He looks back. “Arf,” he says.

The phone rings several more times during the drive to the couple’s home. Henri lets it ring, heaving sighs of exasperation.

When they arrive he pries his bulk from the car and helps them with their bags. They pay the fare and give him a fat tip. “Good luck with the woman thing,” says the man. Henri shakes his head, gets back into his cab and drives to his apartment.

"What’s for dinner?” he asks his mother, kissing her sagging cheek.

“Why don't you go out cheri? Every night with that stupid TV.”

“I’m out all goddamn day,” he says, “listening to everyone’s goddamn problems. ‘Oh I hate my husband, why can’t I find a man like you?’ the women say. You should see how they throw themselves at me, even the married ones, like the woman today, right in front of her husband. And the men, ‘You’re so smart, oh God I envy you,’ they say, some of them in tears. I need to escape that bullshit when I get home.”

He undresses and sits in his chair in his boxers; his heavy, hairy belly spreads on his lap. He lights a Gauloise and inhales it deeply. “And the phone is for emergencies. I can't be chatting with my mama like a big baby with a fare in the car.”



About the Author

Alicia Gifford lives, loves and writes her heart out in Southern California. More of her work appears or will appear in The Mississippi Review Web, The Phone Book, The Paumanok Review and NFG Magazine. "Only the beginning," you'll hear her sing on a good day. She has a brilliant son in college, two wild and crazy dogs, and loves a man named Gene.