28
Aug
09

Driver from the Delirious to the Abandoned (1)

I took a night job as a taxi driver lately. A combination between money, insomnia and curiosity, with a drop of unearthly passion for darkness – or you can choose any other motivation if need be.

On my first night, a guy came in and gave me torn piece of paper with an address. It was only half legible so I told him I’d drop him off at the corner of the street and wait awhile till he gets to the right door. Then he started to talk to me with a bit of an odd smile. He said: „I need to tell you this, hell, I need to tell someone. I mean, we won’t meet again so this cannot affect you. And you have no idea who I am. Now truth be told, I have no idea who I am either – I’m hoping that address might help.

„Fact is – he continued – I woke up with a bit a commotion, gasping for air, in an apartment, seventh floor, where you picked me up. There was this woman near me trying to help me up. She said something like – are you okay? do you want me to get you something? But I was quite okay really, except I couldn’t remember even how I had got there. So I said I was okay, just a bit tired – and sat down on the bed. You see, at that point, I was still trying to scrape a few memories of the back of my mind, like a name, a date, a place. But no luck. I was completely clueless; and out of a certain sense of politeness I didn’t want to alert her to my condition, of which I didn’t even know too much. I started to search for common information instead of memories, and I was quite relieved to actually find a lot of them: Beethoven, J.F.Kennedy, differential calculus, the Capricorn, and so on, they just came immediately, with no effort.
Then she sat down near me and seemed to continue a discussion we had had earlier. Or rather end it: she said – so that is that; no need to be upset I think, we both know it wouldn’t have worked out in the end. I looked up with a half surprised, half amused glance – apparently she had been my girlfriend and, although she wasn’t exactly what I would have called a stunning beauty and seemed rather plain in speech and attitude, her decision to break apart with me was likely the cause of a very strong emotion on my side, leading to a severe loss of memory. The recollection of a quote from Marcel Proust makes me smile „out loud” – Men who fall in love with beautiful women lack imagination. So, I have imagination. As these deductions were filling in on me, she was becoming less and less comfortable because my reactions were obviously completely out of place. I must confess that the situation was becoming slightly amusing on my side and after another kind of awkward glance at her, I stood up, put my hands in my pockets and said in the most playful voice I could make: – okay, that settles it then. be seeing you! And I just walked out the door, thinking – yup, I’ll be seeing her as soon as I figure out which one of the mobile phone contacts she is. And then a though made me really (and finally) burst into laughter: -what if I just walked out of my own apartment??! Still, as funny as that would’ve been, I don’t think it is the case. She had that pose of ownership in that apartment, she treated me kind of like a guest. So, that’s it – here I am.”

I dropped him off at the corner of the street and waited… (to be continued😉 )


1 Response to “Driver from the Delirious to the Abandoned (1)”


  1. 1 Jiminy
    August 31, 2009 la 11:08 am

    The thought of stopping the car and throwing him in the plain street had crossed my mind several times; after all, he had admitted himself that he had no IDs and no money on him. But somehow, the sincerity and dim naivety in his eyes made me drive on and listen almost fascinated to his rambling and – I must say – hard to believe story.

    I was at the beginning of my new job and as such, I hadn’t developed yet the ordinary reticence a taxi driver should surround himself with. At that time the need to satisfy my own curiosity was bigger than the need of money – I was to discover the latter at the end of my first shift.

    I didn’t have to wait long for him – he returned with a happy face, handed me the money and assured me that he had gotten home. Whatever home meant for that wondering soul of his…

    Parts of his story were still haunting me when the operator called through the station.

    „There is this old lady requiring a cab near the Liberty Metro Stop. She says she pays double if you get there in 5 minutes”.
    I took the order since I was already in the neighborhood.

    I didn’t even get to stop the car when this old lady jumped in and started yelling in my ear: „Go! Go! Drive! Faster, faster, let’s leave this place!! Oh my… Did we leave? Are we far?”

    I tried to answer or to ease her down, but there was no way to interrupt her babbling.

    „We left, we’re far, yes we did… Take me to the Railway Station! I’m gonna leave tonight for good. You ain’t gonna see the looks of me anymore, you evil animal! That’s the last of the scratches you’ll ever gonna make on my old skin!… Oh you darn alienated cat! (was this lady for real???) How you look savagely into my eyes and think I’m gonna melt to all your demands! You don’t know how evil he can be, mister! Oh, he’s evil that one! Ever since he stepped into my home, completely uninvited and walking around like a master! He does evil things to me…. He torns my clothes and bites my neck, I don’t have a moment of silence with him! He makes me cook and keep the house all clean and tidy… Well that’s the last of it! I’m done with you, you wretched animal!!…”

    As I was speeding to the Railway Station, I didn’t know whether to burst into laughter or try and calm the old lady down. She made no sense in what she was saying, I mean how can you run away from a cat?? But she was truly tormented and never had I seen a more frightened trembling in many years of my life. She was physically involved in all she was saying, like she was reliving every detail she could remember…

    „Look! Look how evil he is!” – she said and threw her arm under my nose, with her sleeves torn and carrying traces of blood. „He is not a creature of God, I tell you, he is not natural! He isn’t, he isn’t!! Even if he comes to me and cuddles from time to time… Yes, he does that… He does look at me with kind forgiving eyes when I forget to bid him good night. Oh, and he so gently caresses my face to wake me up in the morning… He is loving though and always lets me know when we have visitors… Oh my, what have I done? How could I leave him?? Quick, turn around, drive back. Quickly, before he notices I’m gone!…”

    I hit the brakes and turned the car around, as she was still babbling and humming in the back. I returned to the exact spot where she had sprinted to my car, she almost threw the money at me – double fare and tip included – and hurried back to the „wretched animal”. I could see her hugging a strangely looking cat through the window, I nodded my head in disagreement and drove away.

    That was the second lunatic I was driving tonight. It must be „beginner’s luck”… (to be continued)


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