The cabbie had a satisfied smile on his face while he strained to climb the shelter. I could tell that he was proud of himself for thinking of this; that he had a great innovative idea that was going to work for him. Maybe his wife thought of it or he was inspired by a child’s recent birthday, but no matter the inspiration, he would no longer have to work to find fares; the fares would see the balloon and come to him. I was proud for him. Who needs a Swoosh or Wazzzzzup when you’ve got a balloon and a great location?
Thursday, the very next night, I was on the bus again. I hadn’t thought of the cabbie since he last left my field of vision, but when the bus made that final loop around the parking lot, I saw his cab. I became excited and wondered how well his million-dollar idea was working out for him. We came around fully and there it was, slumped on the corner of the rain shelter, deflated, dead. No more advertising, no more balloon. The cab was parked next to it nevertheless, watching wide-eyed as the busses passed.