That Weekend before Martin Luther King Day was fantastic. The income only barely met average, but sometimes there are better things that will keep me going longer, and make me more pleased to do this job.
On that Saturday I took a pleasant grey haired man, most definitely not from around here, from our best hospital to our most touristy Apple Store. He endured all his four phone calls with great kindness and told them of the news,
“Fortunate,” he said, “That she had it when she did, so close to the best hospital in New York, and I think she is going to be okay.”
I could only imagine, because I didn’t want to delve into his personal life, that his wife might have had a heart attack. And so I was very impressed with his chipper demeanor, rather than to be depressed about what was wrong, that he was uplifted, about what had gone right. He got out of the cab, walked slowly towards the white apple beacon and was soon out of sight. I waited there for several minutes and a family of equally far away tourists, presumably from the Midwest, got inside. One of them found a shiny new Apple Iphone in my cab. It wasn’t too hard for me to put two and two together as I remembered the strange chirping sounds of the constant phone calls that the man from the hospital was receiving. I instantly grabbed the phone without saying a word, stepped out of the car, took my key with me, and went on a hunt for the man who’d just lost his phone. I approached the most attentive Apple employee and told him my story:
“There was a man. Kind of tall, very friendly, had a hat,” I looked for references, ”A hat much like your’s, and glasses.” I saw that this employee was matching my description to the T and realized my lack of descriptive memory was really throwing a wrench into the gears of this problem. Time to pick some descriptive characteristic that this apple store worker didn’t have, “Uhh, he,“ was old, no that won’t do, “He had grey hair.”
The employee tried to finish my sentences to end this nonsense. “And he lost that phone.” He pointed to the Iphone in my hand. The jig was up, but I wanted to see the man actually retrieve the phone.
I handed him the phone, “But wait, I just know he’s around here somewhere.” Spider senses tingling, and ten feet to my left was a tall man with white hair, a Middle-America smile, a hat much like the employee’s, but much unlike it as well, and glasses, he wore no glasses. I walked up to him alongside the Apple employee. “Excuse me, I am-”
“Yes!! I know who you are,” A long lost Nordic nephew? No apparently he remembered his driver, what are the odds. And so we returned his phone.
I returned to my taxi, which apparently was booked with reservations. Still inside, three across, was that same family still waiting for their ride up to the Museum of Natural History. I told them the story of how my description didn't match the man, but how I found him anyway and we all rejoiced. “Typically,” I told them, “I am not able to return peoples things. If I have multiple rides between when they lost it and when I find it, I am usually not able to find a connection to which person it belongs to, or how to return it to them. We were very lucky today”
Within 10 minutes we were at The Museum. I left them across the street where they acclimated to their new surroundings amongst the trees of Central Park. I slowly made my way uptown but 4 blocks when I decided at the red light to check my back seat. There was a small set of foldable earmuffs, oh man, what are the odds? I throw the car in reverse and pull the car into the K-turn in under a minute, whip it into high gear and pull up to the museum. I step out of my car, walk to the cross walk and stare across at a familiar woman and the same family, still getting acclimated, still in the same place I dropped them off. As they crossed the street, I met them mid-way and handed the earmuffs to the last woman who left my cab, the most familiar face. “Well, aren’t you the sweetest thin!-”, she said. That was all I needed to hear, and I was off, back into the endless yellow abyss.