Memory: Taxi

It was a cold and dark winter day when I got off the plane, honestly I cannot remember what I was there for now, all I know it was something for work that I didn’t want to do; but seeing as no one else in the office would take the task it was left for me. Just what I needed another weekend away from home, on the job. It was not like I had important things to do at home, I was single and usually spent the weekends just hanging out at the bar, or trying to get my first book published, with no luck. Still it was the third weekend in a row that was taken from me by work and it was getting old very quick.

I thought about renting a car but work would not vouch for it, but I knew if I took receipts from the taxis they would reimburse me immediately when I got back to the accounting department of the office, so a taxi it was. I got into the yellow car without giving it much thought, and told the driver the name of the hotel where I would be spending the next two nights. He nodded his head and said he would get me there right away. He asked me what I was in town for and I just grumbled that it was something for work, and that I needed to think about a new job if this kept up.

The driver laughed and said I was welcome to have his old job, he spent the good part of 20 years working on a cow farm milking cows it turns out, and the bad part of another 3, where pay dropped even for employees who had been there from the beginning. He came to the city after the bank repossessed the farm where he worked, and seeing as there were not as many cows in the city he said to himself, why not drive a taxi. He told me it was his second day on the job and he was still getting used to the uniform. That I could have guessed myself, the way he kept pulling at his collar and straightening his tie.

Just as we arrived to the front of the hotel I thanked him for the offer, and mentioned that I had never been around anything bigger than my neighbors labrador-retreiver; and I wasn’t about to start with the wrong end of a cow. I went to take my wallet from my travel bag and I noticed just then that my bag was not with me. There we were at the front of a 5 star place like this and I had no money or credit card, and had to pay a cow farmer for the ride from the airport. My face must have been white as a ghost, because the driver said: “Don’t worry about this one, here is my card anytime you are in town let me know when your flight gets in and I will be waiting at the airport for you.” I was speechless to say the least, it was the first time something like this has happened to me and I didn’t know at all what to say.

I asked the driver his name and said, I would give him a call as soon as I got all things unsorted from the trip over here. He helped me with my bag from the trunk of the cab, and as I turned to leave he said: “Excuse me sir, you forgot one thing.” I turned and he handed me a hundred dollar bill, and said: “have a good weekend and don’t let work get you too down, there are some fellows I know who would give anything for the chance to be in your shoes just for a day.”

As I looked out the window of the 17th floor suite, the winter clouds were thinning. There was no more dull winter grey to be seen, but a vivid and colorful city filled with 100,000,000 different stories laying out before me, and I saw now better than ever before that I was just one guy making my way through life, through the good and bad, like all the others.




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