Monday, November 12, 2007


we had a taxi driver tonight named manny. even though it was close to, if not below, freezing tonight, when i first looked at him, he was wiping sweat from his neck and ears. jacob and dave and i sat down in the back seat of the cab and i noticed that the smell was tolerable, maybe even pleasant in limited exposure, like gasoline. there were 4 air fresheners hanging from the rearview and i could hardly the meter that tells us how much we owe. on the way to the movie theater he proceeded to tell us about his day, and how it had been an unexpected turn for the better, "proof of God's love", he said. he talked about how he spent the day with his grand son, he mentioned that his ex wife had taken everything from him, and that she thought he would probably go "cookoo", but she was wrong, he has a sense of peace, maybe arrested development of denial, on his way to becoming aware of his loneliness. his smiles all came from God's love for us, a love that is displayed in DNA, the fact that not one person on earth is the same, God took the time to make all of us unique from on e another. A simple minded, and undeniably charming taxi driver from haiti was going on about Jesus Christ, mentioning how no understands his love unless they give themselves a chance to feel it, and everyone will make their own judgements, but that none of it matters. he seems wise enough to sleep at night, to ignore living and focus on life. he shrugs it off, like i assume he's forced to shrug off memories of his ex wife who took everything. whenever i meet someone like this man, i always presume a very uneasy and unpredictable layer exists just beneath his smile, as if after engaging in a conversation, he might reveal some sliver of his sinister personality, one that God's love can disguise. My dad always says that Jesus was either who he said he was, or a lunatic....nothing in between. I think the same of this taxi driver. he could speak french and play the trumpet. i think these unexpected encounters are the most genuine and valuable memories i will have after Mae is over. the shows are great, but encounters like these are glimpses of a world i'm insulated from, a glimpse of motivation and the human spirit. someone who reveals to three strangers that his ex wife took everything, and says so with such a grateful attitude towards God and the life he has been given. It's funny, I assume a christian can use this man as a positive example of God, and an atheist can use it in the same manner and emphasize how it's a perfect example of the opiate. either way, i enjoyed the cab ride.


Anonymous sara said...

sometimes when i read your blog, i am reminded of 'the stranger' by albert camus.

10:06 PM

Blogger AJ said...

beautiful...hold onto those memories..they are like precious hugs from God's heart to your never know when you are entertaining an angel...:)

10:55 PM

Anonymous hannah said...

i love those rare, or not so rare, encounters. they are truly gifts from god, in my opinion. god's way of saying, "yep, i'm here."

8:49 AM

Blogger Melanie said...

I know that sometime I will likely lose all of my material possessions, and I hope that I can handle it with the grace of your cab driver. There is no reason why I shouldn't be grateful as I have been blessed so much so far.

I imagine you are right about the believer and the athiest. I don't know if the opiate would be accurate since it's possible to have peace amidst the pain, to be grateful even when things aren't perfect. I say this as one who knows denial all to well. Sometimes I have to wonder if life would be simpler if I allowed myself to risk losing everything a little more.

It's easy for me to be cynical about so many things, but we all have some faith placed somewhere, even the athiest. The longer I live the less likely coincidences seem, though. So, I don't think your encounter was a coincidence.

At any rate, I found the cab driver's comments heartening. I'm glad you were able to enjoy his company on the ride.


2:57 AM

Anonymous Michelle said...

i am inspired.

8:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

people are truly beautiful.. and there has to be a beautiful creator behind all of this. thanks for the inspirational post.

9:52 PM


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