He had the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen. They were all I could see as I sat in the back of his cab tonight. Normally I tap away on my phone during cab rides, hoping to avoid the typical awkward conversation that comes with the territory. But he was different. I couldn’t see his face, but his eyes gave away his smiles. The slope and the crinkle in the corners as he spoke.
“So do you prefer yesterday’s weather or today’s?”
It was 98 degrees yesterday, and it’s 52 degrees right now. I had just come from having drinks in a bar that still had the A/C on, so I was shivering.
“Honestly? I think I can deal with the cold better than the heat, but the 40 degree drop is more than even I can handle.”
“I agree,” he said. “Normally I don’t mind the cool weather, but this is just too much of a shift. Lake Shore Drive okay?”
“How’s the construction?”
“Done for the night.”
We didn’t talk for a while, but every so often, I would try to catch a glimpse of his face. All I could see were his eyes, though.
“You live near the mayor,” he said.
“Oh, you mean our old governor?”
“No. The new mayor. Emanuel. He lives right near here.”
“Really? He’s up here, too? I didn’t know that.”
“Yes. Right on this block, or maybe one over.”
I tried to gauge how old he was. Sixty, maybe?
“I’m from Iran. There, corruption is everywhere. But you know what? It costs much more to corrupt people in Iran. It doesn’t cost much to corrupt in America.”
“How long have you lived in Chicago?”
“Then you’ve seen a lot of corruption.”
His eyes smiled.
“Once, when he was Senator, I had Obama in my cab.”
“Really? Did he tip well?”
“You know, I don’t remember.”
“You’ll turn right at this light.”
He pulled away before I could get a good look at his face.