TURN YOUR FACE TO THE SUN AND THE SHADOW FALLS BEHIND YOU- Maori Proverb
I finally decided to write my book today because it’s Frebruary the 29th…I thought that if i died today they’ll celebrate my anniversary once every four years.
Hey Dude, can you pick me up at the Memorial Hospital?
What happened..are you ok?
I’m ok…how long?
about twenty minutes…you mean the one on Hollywood Boulevard?
C’mon Dude…do you know of any other Memorial Hospital in Hollywood?
Dude…. wake up and smell the coffee…are you a cab driver or not?
Oh…sorry dude…I’ll get there in a flash..
I have a hard time remembering the Dude’s name. We all called him Dude because he used to put that word on his sentences as if it was a comma…so to everyone he was the “Dude”.
All the cab drivers in Broward County knew who he was, and kept away from him. He was a boat’s capitain, an helicopter’s pilot, a champion surfer… a perfect compulsive liar.
He just couldn’ help lying on anything…it was so obvious and imbarassing, but he wasn’t a bad person he had a hart and that was very hard to find in 1997 driving a taxi in Fort Lauderdale.
I “picked him up” from Hollywood Beach one day, almost wasted from the various joints he had smoked even if it was before lunch.. he was going to get busted soon or later by selling bags of pot on the beach so i told him he could drive a cab and make an honest living.
He accepted and I spoke to Mike, our supervisor. He got a cab a week later and I had a “Dude” living with me.
The good part was that I was never at home. I was living at 1536 Fletcher street at that time and the year was 1997. The neighbour was friendly and safe back then and the rent was only 280 a month.
I was single, happily single in a region that had more girls willing to give it away than palms,so i wasn’t even thinking about getting married,start a family and such.
Before the Dude moved in with me I was living only with the “Girl” a 12 year old black Labrador that I adopted from my landlady when she decided to get her 12 year old son a “new dog because that one was blind”. I’ll talk about the “Girl” later though.
What happened Dude?
I fell from my bike and broke my arm
Near Pier 21 in Port Everglades… I went over the railroad tracks and the front wheel got stuck in the rail..flipping me airborne..when I landed on top of my hand I felt the pain, someone took me to the hospital an here I am.
Holy Shit..that must have hurt.
Still does..can you take me home now?
Sure…but how are you going todrive a cab now?
Good question Dude good question…I’ll think about that tomorrow now i just want to get some sleep.
I let my thoughts wandering about as we were driving South on US1 as i was unusually seated in the passenger’s seat of a taxi.
Ten years…i thought…ten years I have been driving a cab…how many people..
It was like going to the movies for me, getting behind the wheel early in the morning,trying to catch longer rides to MIA the airport in Miami. I was eager to see what kind of “Humanity” would have show in my back seat.
Most of my passengers talked about their problems to me as if I was some kind of priest listening to their confessions. They knew chances to see me again were slim, so they opened up and talked, asked, cried, laughed,offered grass, cocaine or sex in exchange for a ride..