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  • Brian D. Hinson

Ten of Hearts and an Upset Husband

Updated: Oct 4, 2019



A couple comes to the car: a blonde woman, stumbling drunk. Her husband is her handler, looking annoyed. They get into the back seat, and we’re off on the 20+ minute ride to Rio Rancho. Immediately the woman is leaning forward, shoving something at me as we drive. “I want you to have this. Isn’t this great? Look at this!”


“A 10 of hearts?”


“Yes! What do you think of it?”


“Wow. It’s awesome.” I take the card.


She settles into the back, head lolling. Her husband shrugs her off of his shoulder. “Don’t rest your head on me.” Her head has nowhere to go, and she concentrates on not touching him, looking down, swaying drunkenly.


After a few minutes she pipes up, “I love the music, but can you turn it off? It’s irritating the hell out of me.”


Gone is the flute concerto on the local classical station, and she mumbles a thank you.


About five minutes later, maybe less, the husband requests music. Hoping it was just specifically the flute that was bothering his wife, I tell him I only have radio, “So tell me what station you want.” It was not the classical station, and I was thankful. The wife did not complain.


At last, we reach their house and I was glad this uncomfortable ride was over. The husband marches directly into the house, leaving his wife, barely able to walk, inside the car with me. She’s trying to find her energy drink, I explain it’s behind her. I turn on the light, and she’s still having no luck finding it, despite half-sitting on it. I get out, open the back door to help her and now she’s smiling at me, “Hey, there, Fabio. You didn’t get a tip. You need a tip.”


“Okay. Here’s your drink.”


“Thank you. Help me to the house. You need a tip. Come with me come with me come with me. Come on. Now.”


Once she got a few steps from the car, she was steady enough without my help. I hoped. Her husband was already pretty pissed. I’m certain I could have let her fall on the lawn and left and he would have been happy enough finding her there in the morning. I steadied her as little as possible, just enough to keep her upright and her motion forward. She gets in the door and I keep my distance, standing on the porch. “Pat!” she shouts up the stairs. “Pat! Pat! Pat! He needs a tip! Pat!”


“You can tip me on the app,” I suggest. “That would be great. I have another ride in the queue, I should rea—”


“No!”


He husband descends, hands her a five. She comes back out and presses it to my hand.


“Thank you very much,” I say, turn and head back to the car. I have the door shut, gear in drive, and now see her at my window, jiggling the latch. Christ on a crooked crucifix, what now?


Back in park, the door unlocks and she gets in the back. “I can’t find my phone.”


Sighing the sigh of every exasperated midnight Uber driver on the planet, I head back to help her. As I’m feeling beneath the seats, she asks, “You need to come in for a shot. Come in and do a shot with me.”


I'm sure the husband would have been happy to come back downstairs and see his wife having shots with the Uber driver. “Your phone’s not here. Sorry, but I really have to go.”


With a pouty look she gets out of the car.


I close the doors as she trudges back to her house. I drive.


The 10 of hearts remained.

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