AAJ Brain Injury Seminar - The Taxi Driver
Get off the plane in Atlanta at 9:00 pm. We are at gate E1. Follow the sign that says Ground Transportation. And follow it and follow it. E1 is the far end of E. Down the hall Up the escalator. Down the hall. Finally get to D. Down the escalator. Down the hall. Up the escalator. Hey wait a minute. Realize should have gotten on the train. E is at one end - ground transportation at the total opposite. Get on crammed train. C, B, A, T then destination. Good thing got on the train. Get off train. Walk outside to the taxi stand.
Stand at my assigned spot number 4. The guy behind takes my cab. Taxi official woman hails the next cab. Driver takes my bag and puts in the trunk. I get in. He closes van door. Gets in the car. Says two words to me: good evening. Greet him back. That's it. No more words.
Sit back and look out the windw. The music comes on softly. Country music. Oh well, at least it is soft. It doesn't really bother me. Eventually start looking around in the cab. The driver is African American. He's sitting on one of those beaded seat covers. I can see it looping over his headrest. On his rear window mirror hangs a large wooden cross with Jesus. And earbuds. There's a blue and white bumper sticker on his consul that says: Muslim and American. Sitting on the top of the passenger side dashboard is a white porcelain figurine. You are probably wondering about the theme here. Cross. Muslim. Well, this little statue perfectly completes the tableau. It is a girl with cascading golden locks and angel wings sitting demurely on the back of a unicorn.
We get off the freeway and are sitting at a stoplight. He rolls down his window as we begin passing through. He's reaching out the window. A man walks up. The driver hands him a couple dollars and the man thanks him. I smile in wonder at the gentleman who is driving this taxi. My mouth stays curved upwards until we reach the hotel. Sign his slip. And say goodbye.