Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 616
Wilson's powerful play is about five unlicensed cab drivers in Pittsburgh who are trying to make a living. Each day they meet up in the dispatch office to await instructions and routes for their job. The cab station is the center of the play where the men hang out and talk about their lives. As there is news that the city is going to shut down the cab office, conversations of life and the human condition flow.
One man, Fielding, used to be a tailor but is now a cab driver. He struggles with his addiction to alcohol. He states a resounding theme of the play and a common thought among the drivers.
You don’t always have the kind of life that you dream about.
Sharing about life's challenges, these men reflect on their decisions and lives. After Becker says, "I just do the best I can do," Doub replies, "Sometime your best ain’t enough."
Becker, who runs the cab company, has four simple rules for his drivers.
No overcharging, keep your car clean, no drinking, and be courteous.
One important focus throughout the play is the complex relationship between Becker and his son (Booster) who served prison time for killing a white woman he dated. After being released from prison, Booster explains to his father that he killed her because he wanted his father to be proud of him. Booster told his father that he had decided
to deal with the world in ways that you [Becker] wanted to and couldn’t or didn’t or wished you had.
When recounting how the woman had lied about her relationship with Booster to her family, Youngblood defended Booster's actions of killing her: “...served her right for lying.”
The discussions in the cab station cover life, love, loss, conflict, and relationships. At one point, Turnbo suggests to Youngblood's girlfriend, Rena, that she should consider “an older man who got some sense and know how to treat a woman.”
At one point, Rena responds to Darnell's offer to buy her a house:
You gonna surprise me with a house? Don’t do that. A new TV maybe. A stereo . . . a couch . . . a refrigerator . . . okay. But don’t surprise me with a house that I didn’t even have the chance to pick out!
Turnbo asserts his opinions about the younger generation:
I don't know what's in these...
(The entire section contains 616 words.)
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