Something to Believe In
“Start all over/whole world’s broke, ain’t worth fixing…”Chapman’s ditty rocking my head again after a busy night driving with hardly a wrong move back and forth over three boroughs…made enough dough to dent this pile of traffic and parking tickets…no money beyond expenses for me yet though…my tolerant debtors not pushing me thank God for that…what luck I’ve had…hard to admit sometimes because I'm obviously a pessimist...a cynic really...a skeptical pessimistic cynic that's me... and I don’t even believe in luck…I believe in Fate.
There I’ve said it, what I really believe in, if you wondered...but I doubt anybody did...still, I'm committed to it.
I’d debate it with you optimists who think you can rule the world...but nobody reads this blog much anymore…and once I was a person of interest…one day I had 40 readers…oh well fame is fleeting…and I could’ve had an acting career too…someone actually thought I had talent…ha, ha! …fooled you…fooled me too… fool me three times babe…fool me twice today…I don’t care…I been fooled before…I fooled myself most of all...it don’t hurt no more…and I don’t even care…I wouldn’t care even if I did care…if anybody noticed what good writing some of this stuff is it wouldn’t make any difference anyway…like I said it’s all fate…I’ll never be rich I’ll never be famous and I’ll probably never make love again …oh…well.
What’s my fate? I don’t know and don’t care…wait yes I do know but I still don't care…this is my fate…my fingers flying over the plastic keys…now at this exact moment…that’s my fate…this is my fate…me being here writing this long past bedtime...you being there reading this that’s my fate too…how we got here only you and I can know...Tracy Chapman’s singing about my fate right now:
”I’ve done so many things wrong/I don’t know if I can do right/put your trust in me/I won’t let you down/give me a chance/I’ll try/see it’s been a hard road/the road I’m traveling on/if I take your hand/I might lead you down the path to ruin/just say it will you?/I’ll understand/right now, I’m doing the best I can/at this point in my life…”
The best thing of the night happened in a suffocating traffic jam that started at Bleeker Street on Sixth Avenue and clogged the avenue all the way to 10th Street…suddenly a small cop car appeared on my left with siren bleeping yipping and wailing…I leaped into the spot behind and followed him like a remora fish as he sharked his way up the avenue…everybody peeling off lickedy-split to get out of his way…ha, ha!...I fended off every attempt to get between me and the cop…I twisted through like a fish all the way to Greenwich Avenue where a light stopped me…then another one wailed behind me and made me run that light!...I went through the whole jam in less than a minute and had the street to myself all the way to 23rd, when they started to catch up…I was laughing my butt off…about time the cops did something for me…the nice lady in the back enjoyed it too and left a big tip…she’d was in a hurry to get home.
Two hours before I had confronted a cop in front of Penn Station…I saw an opportunity to get in a lick for free speech and took it…you don't have freedom of speech if you don't use it...there was a needless taxi jam on Seventh Avenue so the passenger decided to get out before I made the curb…a cop came over and chewed me out…it burned my ass but I meekly submitted to his ferocity...after she closes the door I move into the line one car from the front…soon I see the problem: a cop car is parked directly in the spot where we have discharged and picked up passengers since the dinosaurs died…two people get in but I put the cab in park and say "Wait I have to ask this cop something"…I walk over and the cop…in his late 20’s…is leaning against the passenger door with his arms folded in denial and looking importantly at the station…I say “Would you mind telling me why you are parked in this spot?”...he looks at me and says “What?”...I see he is stunned that a citizen would question the authority of someone as important as him…I repeat it…he says “What do you mean?”… I say “This is my spot”…”This is your spot?”...”Yes this is the spot where taxis disembark passengers and passengers embark on their journeys…what are you doing here? Why aren’t you parked up there”…I point ahead…”where you would be out of the way? Why do you have to park in this…exact…spot? “He is dumbfounded…He doesn’t know what to say…finally he finds something:
”I’m preventing terrorism.”
Yep…that’s what he said all right…now it’s my turn to be dumbfounded…”You are preventing terrorism?”...I nearly guffaw at him but know better than that…””How are you preventing terrorism, standing there with your arms folded? You think that an intimidating look will prevent someone with a suicide vest or a taxi full of explosives from blowing you and this place all to hell?”...his eyes widen…”What do you think, that a terrorist will see you here and say oh boy I better forget it?”…I say “If you want to be useful why don’t you go stand in that intersection there”…I point at 33rd street where people are crossing against the light…he follows my finger and sees it…”and stop people from walking against the Don’t Walk and stopping traffic?...go do something useful and direct pedestrian traffic…what you are doing is impeding traffic…it wouldn’t endanger New York if you moved that car up a couple of lengths and let us get on with our business here…I almost just got a ticket because of this jam that YOU created”I see I have struck him dumb so I walk back to my cab and drive off...it was probably only my age…he was young enough to be my son…that kept him from throwing me down and cuffing me…I don’t know if I’m on a Watch List now…I don’t care so much either…like I said it’s all fate…go ahead ship me to Gitmo…I haven’t actually been tortured yet…it might be just what I need to snap out of this depression.
Of course he was only following orders from Higher-Ups at a loftier level of stupidity…Homeland Security my ass…It's the Homeland of Higher Insensibility...New Yorkers scoff at their lame militaristic tactics...I guess they have Penn Station surrounded so that if a bomb does go off inside they all are outside…and then they can rush in to secure and investigate the horror scene…rush in barricade the doors and run the reporters and photographers off so we can’t actually see it.
It was something though, that miraculous path through the traffic jam…I wish you could have been with me…you’d know what a good driver I am…it would make me feel good to know you knew it…but that’s my luck…you never will see or know it…it's a jewel that only I can see...that’s Fate…mine and yours…you’ll never know me and I’ll never know you…you can never be with me to make me feel good again...or me, you...that's fate...you will never properly appreciate me...or I, thou.