You drive an Audi. A new model, black SUV… with ski racks.
You cut me off, HARD, as I was crossing Mission Street on MY green. But you were sure to make quick eye contact through your shiny wraparounds first. And that curl on the corner of your smug face… Was that a smirk?
It’s not the cabbie’s fault that the new reality of the San Francisco rush hour commute is a nightmare. Even with “Friday lite.” It’s not my fault that the streets are flooded daily with 15,000 out of town “rideshares,” God only knows how many Google buses and privatized MUNI Chariot shuttles, gig economy Task Rabbits, Spoon Rockets and the like. And no, I am not a fan of the just rolled out bright red bus/taxi-only lane on Mission that must have surely pissed you off and justified your aggression, in your mind. I didn’t do it. I am not “The Man.” But I am paying for it, just like you.
And this morning’s now rare fog, mist and overcast that depresses you, depresses me, too. This is no excuse for you to so egregiously jump that right on red, without even having feigned a stop first. I almost hit you! AND I WANTED TO!! But for the Cabulous app-hailed passenger all oblivious in the back of my taxi, immersed in her cell.
Heather saw nothing.
I ask: Where is your humanity, Audi? Do you not know? We are ALL in this thing, together!
But now, I am flooded with that all-too-familiar adrenaline rush, flushing fast, coursing through my veins, overtaking my being.
I check the rear view…
Heather peeks up from her phone and cranes to look around. Surely, she smells the deluge of hormones suddenly rushing my veins. It no doubt emanates from every pore. Surely, she knows SOMETHING is amiss, if not at least subconsciously. Fight or flight now FILLS this cab! Yeah, Heather looks around, and then ducks back down into the safety of her VIRTUAL reality.
But mine is all too real, as Audi and I now both crawl down 17th, filtered across these suddenly embattled streets, in a sprawling cue to each prolific stop… And that double yellow upon which I fixate, with a deep and sustained lust. What of this painted idol? This false God? Should a gap arise, should I??
I think to decline the Beast, and his offer to bite. And I wonder, will God reward me??
As I follow you, Audi, close, almost to a tailgate… for blocks.
I debate internal, and alternately await my chance, ANY chance, as this tell-tale heart pumps feverishly in my chest, playing score to the almost audible bead of sweat that rolls down my brow. Yes, I am weak. From outside of my body, I stand witness to a right calf compressed to a set, poised to go kinetic, as it awaits some opening to all at once VEER, GUN and SWERVE over the lines, and PASS to cut YOU off! And, in kind, ASSAULT YOU!!
Alas, I am dreaming…
Audi checks his side view. I peer deep into him, locking eyes with inhumanity in the form of shiny black lenses. He looks kind of nervous. He no doubt senses some disturbance in The Force. And I come to realize that he has been awaiting it, too. But then, a signal right.
And Audi turns.
But the moment does not deviate with Audi, as Cabbie’s blood continues percolating to a boil, unabated. But I must forge on, and do so… straight.
But seriously, how fucking DARE you!
Then, I catch myself. I am reminded that I, too, have transgressed like, countless times. (Albeit, minus the cocky smirk.) I remind that I, too, am Audi.
Photo by Christian Lewis
Check out Alex’s Book 1 — San Francisco TAXI: A 1st Week in the ZEN Life…
& Book 2 San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane…
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