The Cab Ride

 

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. 

After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.

‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened.

A small woman in her 90’s stood before me.

She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.

All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness.

‘It’s nothing’, I told her.

‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy’ she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.’

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

‘I don’t have any family left,‘ she continued in a soft voice.

‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city.

She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.

They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. 

They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.

She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said

‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut.

It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.

I drove aimlessly lost in thought.

For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL


 


Life 
may not be the party we hoped for, but while we 
are here we might as well dance.

I received two emails this evening.

One that said “Inspiration, I think we both need it”

And hours later…I received the one I’ve just shared with you.

For me, this second email was the answer to the first.

Thank you to those who always know…when I need a lift up.

~♥~I love you~♥~

Demon

There are times, quite often in fact, when we let our experiences dictate the path of our lives. Usually, the bad ones, or the self-destructive ones…it’s surprisingly harder to stand up than it is to fall down. I’m sharing Kyle’s post DEMON for the very reason that I struggle daily with my own demons and it’s always comforting to know I am not alone. Equally so, to have a friend who can bear the naked truth of the dark side of some of our choices yet show there is light to be found…IF we are willing to look. Thank you Kyle.

 

kyle mew

they’re a bunch of fucking natives, and they spout all this hippie shit about self-discovery and journeys into my soul and what-not. i nod politely and agree, but just so as to be polite. i don’t want to offend them, but its all a load of crap as far as i’m concerned. i’m here for the trip of my life. i’ve heard about these mushrooms, ever since i started taking drugs. the most powerful hallucinogenic on the planet. the trip of a lifetime. they are legendary and until now, i wasn’t even sure they existed at all.
i look at the pile of goo the old woman spits onto the plate. i understand why she has to chew the mushrooms first. she has been doing this for years, and there are enzymes in her saliva that will break down the mushrooms and prevent me from vomiting too much. novices have…

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It’s Electric

Thunder claps.

The only alarm that ever could, wake me.

I could sleep (provided I am sleeping) through the most annoying man-made alarm out there.

But give me a good clap of thunder and awake, out of bed, and standing at the wide-open front door I am.

In a flash.

One thing I do not do is waste a good thunderstorm.

Even as we speak, the noise rolls across the sky; it sounds miles away before it fades.

Lightning on its tail.

One, two, three…you know the drill.

I don’t question this fascination and love (yup, love) of the great God of Thunder.

It just is, and always has been.

A family tradition even.

As a teen, I recall being on the front porch with my father and one of my brothers during a storm.

It was  e l e c t r i c !!

The porch was long, flat, ground level, and concrete.

The rain was coming so fast the ground could not absorb it fast enough.

The puddles began to form on this electrifying porch, during this electrifying storm.

One sound I recall hearing on that particular evening was a clap so loud I had to cover my ears while I shouted my delight.

The sound that followed was as loud a boom as any you’d hear on the fourth of July.

Drawing not the oohs and ahs of appreciation.  No.

But screams, yelps, and moans of the three of us on the porch.

The only thing louder was primal screams as my Mother ran out of the house onto the porch seconds after the sound that woke the devil and the moans that followed.

Some noise came from the direction where my brother had sat in an aluminum lawn chair.

A chair which now lay on its side, empty, in the puddle that had formed under it.

He was now flat on the ground, still shocked.

The other chair’s occupant, my Father, came out of his like his ass was on fire, releasing a sound no one would mistake as an exclamation of happy surprise.

For myself, I danced the dance of the mouse in an electrified cage, as I was standing barefoot in my puddle of what began strictly as rain before I added my own brand of yellow dew drops.

The porch had become my own Skinner Box.

The humming inside my head so loud it’s a wonder I heard anything else at all.

Confused, being pushed and pulled, seemingly in all directions at once, we finally managed to get inside.

A lesson –  One for a lifetime.

Go inside, close the windows, pull the shades, hide under the bed during a thunderstorm?

Hell no…

Don’t use aluminum lawn chairs or stand in puddles barefooted on a flat, ground level, concrete porch of course!

Now please excuse while I return to the chair I’ve placed center stage to enjoy the show.

A chair made of wood, on dry ground, INSIDE.

😯