Tuesday, January 26, 2010

part #3 of Reality gives its bail out

-Part 1 and 2 of this Story Click here

Then I let go of the gas peddle as I didn't know where we were going anymore. I asked her, "where to?" as I eyed the mirrors she looked back too, and the silhouette of the New York business man stood there still holding his confidence, but loosing the dignity of a chariot.

"Oh thank you so much!" she said.

And I began to laugh expelling all my tension, even the tensions of a typical ride. Now after letting this guy go I felt like I was just driving through the streets with a friend.

"He was sooo, crazy!" She said.

"Let me just say" I wore the biggest smile on my face as I continued, "Congratulations, so many people may get into that situation, but you finally took control. If you didn't take control, who knows."

She then told me her address, and we turned back to her place. I began to explain all the things that were going through my head before his expulsion. "He was spending all this time, trying to convince you that he was good, he was trying to..." But I couldn't find the exact words I was looking for.

"He was doing what?" She sad. And our moment of joy and comfort had already passed as I tried to analyze the situation.

I was trying to tell her that he was pulling his sleazy sales tactics in a setting that didn't call for a sale. But most importantly if there wasn't anything else I could be proud of from such a moment, I would at least pose an important question to her and be proud of that. "Why did you let him in the car?" I asked.

Her words were kind of broken throughout the whole night, either that was because she'd had a little too much to drink, or it was just because she hadn't mastered english entirely well.

She eventually told me that he was a cute guy, and so sometimes, "you know," She smiled with coyness.

Honestly I had no idea, I made a face. He didn't seem cute to me, but of course I didn't say that, I mean it seemed like she was half his age, not that I have a problem with that logically and emotionally, but I mean, physically? He's old, she's young, what's up with that? I thought. She then looked at me and said "Hey look at you. You, umm.... You don't look so good." What ever did she mean? Did she mean I looked completely rattled from the experience? Or did she mean I was ugly. Wow I really should get a haircut and a shave, jeez.

We get to the place, talking all the way there. She then told me that she'd never seen the guy before, not in the diner, not at the party, never before. He just came to the cab as a complete stranger. I'd assumed there was at least some earlier interaction between the two before hand.

“Would you be offended if I tipped you?” She asked

I thought about it, I took the characterless route, “No.” I said, without reluctance.

She’d already tipped me nicely adding to an already high fare from going double the distance to her house by way of crazy guy. She gave me 4 dollars, but now she added 5 dollars, then she added 2 more, then 2 more again, doubling the fare.

“Thank you,” she said again.

I suppose though I’d like to think I was getting tired of her gratuity, I wasn’t really, I wanted all the praise, but it added more and more to my discomfort at the same time. I didn’t really feel I had saved her at all, and this whole story was something I’d have to mull over in my mind repetitively until I figure out just exactly all the factors. All the questions were swirling in my head:

Who’s fault was this, if it could be really blamed on anybody?

Was he in fact the real American Psycho? No I quickly refuted that idea as it was just too much novelist’s dynamite, what a story that would be, such a guy actually to exist all this time.

How could this really have been prevented? Had all the proper courses been taken, or most likely there may have been even earlier signs that I should have noticed? But if I should pre-judge such a fare, what would stop me from jumping too quickly to wrong conclusions with others? And I had more questions, but I thought them over just a little later

“I just was thinking that there were no more good people left in this world. Where are all of you?” She asked.

Okay, now I
wasn't thinking this at the time but who did the casting for this particular woman to be in my cab and where were the hidden cameras? I mean this is just some sort of moment that doesn’t actually exist in reality. Rather, these scenes are only made for the movies, but so it was. I was living in some sort of delusional humble hero world made up of Al Paccinos, Bobby DeNiros, and Bruce Willis'.

And all I could think was the most cliché statement all the firefighters say: that they’re no heroes, all I was doing was my job, and quite frankly it is in my best interest to make sure everyone is safe. I don’t want to go to jail for aiding and abetting, nor do I want something so terrible on my conscience as to leave them down in the dark corners of Wall Street with nothing but cameras on corners of buildings, only pretending to watch, and needless to say none of that would matter anyway if she’d been so dumb to go up to his apartment.

She bid me a farewell, but asked me for my contact information, and I at first refused as I’d given too many people my number through the cab. When an anonymous number calls I don’t have a clue who it is so I don’t pick up. Often I figure they may be asking for a ride, which is impossible since if my empty light is on I could get in a lot of trouble for by passing some riders and selecting others. But she asked again, saying she would need to contact me and thank me, she promised she’d remember. So I gave her my email, my number, my name. I really gave her all the information because I’d hoped that maybe she’d contact the Taxi and Limousine Commission and tell them what a great person I was, I thought maybe I’d get an award. That’s how backwards my head was. I thought it’d be more of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be recognized for outstanding behavior by this city, then to be contacted by this woman. She kissed my hand and looked at me and placed her hand on her heart. She stepped out of the cab, and I thought it would be only polite to watch her go to her door, however she didn’t move once she stepped out. She just stood there like a porcelain statue staring into my window, glassy eyed without blinking. I tell you honestly it freaked me out a lot. I figured she’d be safe enough, and I didn’t have all night to commit to this staring contest. It was odd that it was a doorman building, and the doorman didn’t give a damn to see to her. He just sat there behind the glass door watching, and keeping warm.

I pressed on again, slowly though, without touching the acceleration, and still she stood there looking to my direction. staring at me through every mirror. I had now turned into a big yellow blob with all sorts of identifying numbers on the back, which she may or may not have been trying helplessly to remember. I didn’t want to press too hard on the gas out of politeness nor did I want to see her standing there anymore, but I was curious to know if she’d ever go into her building.

Just then an anonymous man gestures to me, I look at him quizzically. Waking up from this wonderland I discovered he was telling me about a fare across the Street, suitcases rolling out and everything. But it was too late, for as quickly as I realized his signals, another cab went passed me doing 40m.p.h., to my 10, and he pulled the U-turn and grabbed these delicate customers. I decided it was just as well. I wasn’t ready for another ride just yet. I descended over the hill, till’ my cab could be seen anymore by her and I parked the car at the hydrant. I got out for the fresh air and stretched in the rare abundance of space that the night provided. The last minutes of darkness were upon me, and the guy who tried to tell me of the potential ride I missed was working with the Poland Spring truck down the street. He eventually made his deliveries and left. I walked a little up the hill to look back to that address not a block away, and she had disappeared. I then proceeded to open each door of my cab and look for things to discard. I found one bottle of water. Was this hers or his? I wondered, either way, a reminder of the energy that still may have persisted inside the cab. I took it and threw it lightly into the corner garbage can with a wrist toss, a 2 pointer. I looked all I could for more things to discard, gum, tissues, dust balls. I went to the front and drank the last of my cold coffee remains and then swished that into the garbage can too. There was no one out on the street anymore, not within sight, so then I cried, expelling emotions I didn’t even know I had, and I didn’t even know why, but there it was, and I knew I needed this moment alone with just those street lights and the taxi, awaiting my peace of mind to return. I used some more time to pace between the garbage can and the cab 2 to 5 more times. I let out a good yell, but still I held back ‘cause I didn’t want anybody to call the police. I then got in my cab again when I’d gotten enough air outside, and I really cried for only a few more minutes, then I yelled, and continued back to the diner, yelling the whole way back until my vocal cords protested.

It is only after something like this happens that it really hits hard; after you’re forced to cope with the situation, and find your way out of it, or hope, or pray that it’ll work itself out. Once all of your natural instincts no longer are being tested, you realize the extent of it all. I evaluated why I cried maybe for myself, maybe for my self-serving purposes of writing this blog, or both.

And I think I cried because I had no idea that such a calm and rational being might really be a lunatic in disguise, I cried because I had no way to stop such a thing, and all the pressure to be a hero, something I very much would like to be, is not really in my character and I wish she’d take some responsibility for realizing that we all need to be our own heroes and we need to save ourselves sometimes, if not all the time. And I also really cried, because up until then I’d given up on the idea of love perhaps:

The idea that just maybe, love is lurking anywhere, and that I may hear from her again sometime, but in all likeliness, I won't. Maybe, just maybe, love IS something from a movie, where a cab driver finds a damsel from Korea or wherever she was from who doesn’t explain things oh so clearly, but perhaps on some sort of level they could maybe understand each other more than all the other strangers that stagger into and out of each other’s worlds. Or maybe she never wants to remember that night ever again.

I pass that building of course, from time to time. Each time I pass it, I always seem to go by too fast, every single time I notice, even when I look for the address, that it had already passed by about a block ago. Very strange, that ride was.


Anonymous said...

Quite moving - your story, your exquisite writing style and poignant conclusions.

Crying is a release and very likely was a reaction to what your body knew & your mind didn't process yet.

You made all of us readers wait but it was well worth it!

Gusgamashuq Abunoori said...

You need to leave the hair long. You look handsome in it. Be ready for love anywhere, anytime. And don't wait for the possibility of love. Have it pouring out of you like an over filled cup. You mentioned that we need to be our own heroes. Same idea, only now add the potential significant other. The more general, yet genuine love you exude into the world from inside, the closer you'll move towards your future soul mate.

Goggla said...

I hope some day to have the privilege of riding in your cab.

NYC taxi photo said...

Thanks guys. I really hope to continue to be as true as I can as that's what the blog is all about. And I'm so happy for the support.