Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Dangerous Times.

Dangerous Times.

Driving home it was dark.
The cab-driver stares, straining his eyes in the rear-view mirror at me. I can tell the wreckage on the back seat of his cab clearly bothered him. He’s probably seen all types of fares, but never one like this. He watches: I’m crawling and drooling about on the floor of the cab, almost under the seat-well; I pull my tongue and slide off the seat to the floor, a side-effect of the hallucinogenics they injected - you know, in order to help get the truth out of me.
Or maybe it was the unmarked car following us all the way he’d spotted that made him nervous.
“Geez, buddy, you’re sure in all kinds of deep shit here,” he says uneasily and looks over his shoulder at the car tailing us. “I’d say you should call the police but those guys back there sure didn’t look like they much care for you – they the cops…?”
I nodded.
“I don’t want no trouble, pal. We living through dangerous times here and I’ve a family to think of,” the cab-driver says.
“I’m no trouble,” I try assure him. “Those cops back there, they worked me over a little. I just need a little time to try find my legs again,” I tell him.
“You known to the authorities…?” he wonders worriedly.
“I’ve a reputation, I suppose, but, don’t worry, you don’t know me,” I said. “You know yesterday they rounded up thirty co-conspirators…?”
He was thoughtful, but didn’t speak. Then he said: “Like I said, I don’t need no trouble.”
“Dangerous times,” I agreed. “Pull up here - don’t worry, I’m in disguise, I’ll be fine,” I tell him when he hesitated.
Again he looks dubiously in the rear-view mirror. Even though we’re still several blocks away I crawled out of the cab onto the curb. The men in the car watched quietly from a few spaces back. The cab-driver generously comes round and helps me up, even though this is a dangerous, potentially incriminating gesture.
"You know we’re being invaded…? We need people, people like you,” I said, clutching his forearm tightly.
He looked sceptical and stuck to what he knew.
"Well, I can tell there's very little electrical activity left in your brain, if that’s what you mean…" he said.
“That’s what I mean,” I said and let go his forearm.
We shook hands, again, another very dangerous gesture, but he seemed to want me to be okay.
I pay the fare and the cab-driver speeds off.
It’s a long crawl home. I'm still at least several blocks away, maybe two or three hours. While the men following behind me very slowly in their car have had to park it and are following me instead on foot.
Dangerous times.