Monday, April 20, 2009
After coming home last night I washed my hands. I remember feeling like I just washed the night away. The three grungy drug addicts. The women who just returned to Edmonton from Vietnam. The two men, one a Polish guy I could communicate with and his friend a man that was raised in South America. None of them had anything in common other then I shook all their hands. The first fare was Robin and his crew. The three of them were obviously using drugs and alcohol. No! they weren't children or young people these guys were veterans. Three suicides. Robin had the money on his bank card (I've driven him before, he always withdraws his daily limit and is forced to find a store that gives cash back, like Safeway or Walmart) he was in charge. His crew consisted of a "what looked like"a fifty year old prostitute and a big Indian dude. They were chugging beer. They were working up a massive fare, one they couldn't pay for unless Robin found a store that would give him cash back. It was already past eleven pm on a Sunday so those stores were all closed. I was getting the feeling that they were going to try to skip the bill. They were to old to run, so the prostitute offered herself as collateral. I wasn't having any of it. The boys in the back seat laughed when I turned down her offer of love. She was used to it. I drove them around until midnight. The cards withdraw limit is reset at the beginning of a new day. I got paid and they got home safely. I had fun with the old drunks, they were honest people. I could tell they had given up on life. I had to wash my hands after shaking theirs. The women from Vietnam had just returned to North America. She had a baby with a Vietnamese man and never married him. Asians marry people they have children with. She had a hard time assimilating into the Vietnamese culture without having a husband and with a child. She said that if she married the man he would have ended up on the birth certificate and that would have cut her freedom in half. Her husband would have custody of the child and without his permission she could never bring her child back to Canada. She was a strong independent women and global citizen with really nice hands. I wasn't compelled to go wash my hands after shaking hers. My last fare was a man and his ex brother in law. The ex brother in law was a Polish guy who spoke Polish with me. A language I rarely speak in the Taxi. He was cool. The two were best friends even though the Polish guy divorced the other guys sister. You could tell they were best friends. The other guy was raised in South America. He told me he was shot in Venesuala when he was fourteen. The guy who shot him used a 12 gauge. He said after it happened he woke up at a Shamans house and she healed him. He had the scares to prove it. I asked if I could take a picture but he said "no." The weird thing was that the dude did not believe in God. He told me the Shaw Women saved his life. I respected his opinion and looked up at the stars and thanked the Almighty that no ones ever shot at me yet.