A few nights ago I recieved a call to collect a passenger at an emergency room with the instructions to go inside for the voucher.
I approached the desk and was told the patient wasn't yet ready, but to wait by the APS entrance. The emergency room, its halls and acronyms have been in a remodelling state of flux now for years.
"APS?" I asked.
"Acute Psychiatric Services," I was told, "right down the hall."
I found the door and waited. Ten minutes and several passing "May I help you?"s later, the doctor and patient emerged.
The doctor was one of those very slight ladies with the quick nervous movements of a sparrow.
She began passing by, voucher in hand, when I informed her I was the driver.
"Great!" she chirped, her eyes darting between me and the passenger. "I think everyone's ready now. I think everything will be fine."
I took the voucher.
"Just in case," she added, "I've included his aunt's phone number on the voucher, so if you have any problems on the way, you can just call her."
The word "problems" seemed to animate my passenger, as he began swaying his upper body back and forth while clapping his hands behind his back.
"Problems! Problems!" he repeated, "Ain't going to be no problems!"
We proceeded to the main exit and entered the turnstyle doors when their rotation locked. I looked behind me to see my passenger had entered the same opening in the door with me, and, as space was tight, the rear of the door was striking his heels, causing it to stop.
"I'm with ya! I'm with ya!" he told me.
In small two inch increments we made our way to the outdoors.
He was taken home, and there were no problems.
During a lull later that night, it occured to me a photo of the door and its adjacent plaque, would, if captioned correctly, symbolize a great deal and offer some humor and truth.
I went inside, took the shot, and was about to exit. Security intervened. In the midst of three armed agents, the shot of the door had to be deleted from the camera. One agent took information from my ID, then told me a restraining order would be placed against my being on the property.
I told him, I didn't expect it would be an issue, as he would not see me or my cab again.
He paused, said he would not proceed with the order, that if I were to take another picture there I would be arrested, but that I could continue to retrieve their passengers ---too kind.
Is it just me, or have our priorities become a bit skewed?
Anyway, imagine if you will, a photo of a door with a plaque reading 'Acute Psychiatric Services' at its side, and the following caption beneath:
"You drive a cab in Boston, and this is where you end up."