‘it’s like deja vu all over again.’ – berra.
’do you need to stop for anything? coffee? newspaper? orange juice?’
we had reached the intersection at the end of my block where there was an open bodega.
‘no thanks. i think i’m good to go.’
it was 5:30 in the morning.
‘ok, then. next stop, jfk.’
we go another couple of blocks and get stuck at a very long light. within seconds the cab driver nods his head forward, closes his eyes and goes to sleep. it’s then i realize this is the same guy who took me to newark about a month ago when i went to rome. not so chatty at dawn, is he? i figure he’s been working all night and i might be his last fare. the light turns and without hesitation he opens his eyes and calmly drives on. sleeping with one eye open. navy seal? he’s flipping through the radio stations now so i say,
‘how about some classical music?’
‘yeah. sure. i like classical music.’
‘i know. you drove me to newark airport about a month ago. you’re a vet, right? you told me you’d been shot, stabbed and blown up.’
‘yeah,’ he said chuckling through a kind of dreamy voice. ‘shot…stabbed….and blown up.’
‘we saw that raccoon running up the goethal’s. remember?’
‘yeah, yeah!! took a wrong turn.’
same exact thing he said last time.
‘working late tonight, eh?’
‘yeah. i like working nights.’
him and travis bickle, i think. it’s good he can run his energy down. he still seems a little off, but without the angry, violent edge. he takes a drink from his water bottle and says,
‘going to see your family?’
‘yeah. my sister and her kids live in syracuse. how about you?’
‘i’ll just be working. it’s weird between me and my family.’
‘that sucks. i’m sorry.’
‘nah. they’re a bunch of assholes.’
after that i don’t say anything and we roll along but the silence is not awkward like last time. i feel sorry for this guy. it’s probably not possible for him to have ‘normal’ relationships. friends you have something in common with. army buddies, maybe. i hope so. i get out of the cab. it’s warm for this time of year.