Looking back, after he ran that first stop sign I should have known something wasn't right.

The car air fresher was "new car scent," and the Lincoln Towncar's golden sheen was complimented by the scent of shampoo and nicotine. A pack of Marlboro Lights was wedged between visor and roof. Joe, the taxi driver, runs through a fresh red light. "You thought about stopping Joe," I say to his amusement. "That counts for something."

"Screw it," chuckles Joe as he abruptly accelerates, causing the rear end of the Towncar to loose traction temporarily under the thunderous V-8 engine. "Cleveland ain't New York or Chicago," Joe responds to a question never asked. "It's not a cab city." Small hairs grow atop his nose and the machine begins accelerating past fields of gravel with leeward snow. "When I quit giving a shit is when I started making money." Despite high speed cornering, Joe's glasses never move from the dashboard.

Joe's beard is snow white, his balding head covered by a lightly seated mesh hat and his cough raspy. He runs another red light, this time tracing behind a woman crossing the street; her short red skirt beneath a black jacket and white tights beneath everything. "Looks nice and warm up there," Joe chuckles. "Hey what! I'm a cabbie."

The cab looks very un-cab-like, except small font letters written on the driver and passenger doors reading Ace Executive. Joe drops Eric and I off at Kinkos. "Catch you on the flip flop," Joe muses before speeding off on salted road.