Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I should start a blog
On Ninth Avenue tonight, two guys were walking in the middle of the street. When I pulled up behind them, one of them turned around and, instead of getting out of the way and walking on the sidewalk like a normal human being, said, "Calm yourself, you fucking CUNT."
This was so out of nowhere and so utterly uncalled for, I snapped. I was, at that point in my shift, just so sick of the abuse, sick of the idea that some idiot crossing in traffic can turn around and use some shitty sexist slur against me, and sick of the fact that it even bothered me at all. But it did. In fact, I'd rather be called an asshole, or even a motherfucker, but cunt? It hardly fits.
So, yeah, I lost my cool. Despite the fact that I had a passenger in the backseat -- a circumstance under which I usually have much more restraint, since the point here is to work and make money and not let shit get to you -- I yelled out the window a very boring and tired old "Why don't you come back here and call me a cunt to my face, you fucking retard."
The guy, of course, returned my unoriginal question with his own very unoriginal move of grabbing his balls at me. At that point I had unbuckled my seatbelt and was reaching for my camera, but just then the light turned green and I remembered I had a passenger, remembered that I was working, not playing some stupid ego game, so I pulled myself together and just drove away.
I felt pretty stupid and weird and pissed off, and I felt I had to say something to my passenger so he didn't think he was riding with some psychopath -- though, at that point, he was. I said, "Sorry about that. I'm just sick of these guys who walk in the middle of the street and then think that I'm like trying to hit them or something, and then say shit to me like I shouldn't be driving on the street they're walking on."
The guy didn't seem phased, saying only, "Oh, it's okay." Maybe he really didn't care, but I have a feeling he might have been scared of me, and I ended up feeling like a total fool. Maybe even a bit of an asshole, but definitely not a cunt.
Later on, my last job of the night, I took a middle-aged heavyset guy to Glendale, Queens. The entire ride there we talked about the rising price of gas and he explained to me in complicated detail the mechanics of our economy and how gas prices were going to exceed people's need for the stuff and eventually prices would go down, etc, etc.
After a while, he asked if I was a student. I get asked this one a lot since I look a lot younger than my 30 years. I said no. Then he asked, "Well do you do something else besides driving the cab?" I've learned over the past few years that people really like it if you're doing something else. They don't like to hear that you're just a cab driver, they want you to be working towards something.
I've started to tell people different things, but a lot of times I just give some vague, weird, embarrassed answer like, "I guess I'm trying to be a writer these days," or something like that. Sometimes I'll even tell them about the blog, but most often not.
This guy got all excited when he heard this answer. He went on and on about writing and then said, "You should use the internet to leverage that -- have you heard of blogs?"
I said yes, and was about to tell him I had one, but I couldn't really get a word in as he quickly went on to explain, again in meticulous detail, how I could start a blog and get Google advertising on it and get twenty- to thirty-thousand hits a day (not likely) and make a ton of money. By then we were in front of his house and talking with the meter off already, so I didn't really feel like getting into it and prolonging the conversation. I just let him talk himself out until finally he paid me, wished me luck, and jumped out.
I probably really should start a blog, shouldn't I.