DK’s NYC Taxi Cab Chronicles (Passenger Struggles).

Everyone knows how the new economy is taking shape.  People want to call it a recession.  I simply call it an attempt to squeeze out the middle class and widen the gap between the poor and the rich.  One now has to appreciate the value of money- though it’s not getting any easier to keep it.  But that’s an ENTIRELY different story altogether that I ain’t gonna delve into on this blog.  Anyhow, for every Wall Street or Park Avenue person whose nose is stuck in the clouds- you have the everyday person just tryin to get by and taking life for what it is.

This one dude I pick him up on 5th avenue in the teens…and he’s heading over to Chinatown.  I figured it’d be a silent cab ride until he speaks up about how I should have taken a side street to avoid Broadway..but tells me it’s all good.  He asks me how I’m feeling and I tell him that it’s all good here because I’ve come to a point where I’m at peace with myself and the situation that I’m in.  Of course it’s easier to say when you have something to fall back on.  Money doesn’t buy happiness but it buys you appreciation when you DO have it after not having it for so long.  Anyway, he tells me that it’s been rough for him these past few years.  His fiancee left him because he couldn’t afford the finances for their wedding; he’s lost three homes to foreclosure but he’s still standing.  He doesn’t know why it keeps happening to him, but it forced him to take everything one day at a time since it can’t get any worse for him (so he says).  He goes on about how I’m young and just need to spend my money wisely & to not become another him.  Will do.  Then randomly he asks me if I know Jimmy Rollins.  I know the player, but not him personally.  He tells me he parties with him.  I don’t give a fuck ha- I hate him.  He asks to take my number down which ain’t gonna happen so then he offers me his number which I’m gonna pull some female shit on him (take the number down then delete it when he leaves).  Normally I’d say “nah I’m good” but fuck it, he was sorta persisting.

Around Times Square I pick up a woman and her five kids.  They’re heading to the SI Ferry to go home.  Most of the time I see this and I brace myself for disaster/annoyance…but these kids were well-behaved.  Perhaps they were tired after a long day of walkin around town or whatnot.  Anyhow, the woman begins talkin about her plight…how she’s trying to raise these kids with her husband but her husband is out of commission because of a back injury he sustained on the job.  They gave him workers’ comp but with that not being enough, he tried going back to work…only to fuck it up further.  It’s sad to hear stories like this, knowing that in the corporate world you’re nothing but a number that can just be replaced in an instant.  She herself got laid off not too long ago so with the little money they have they’re trying hard to not let their kids feel the pinch too much.  It’s their duty she says, to have them enjoy as much of their childhood as possible and to shield them from seeing what her and her husband are going through.

I picked up a professor at Baruch College who was heading to Penn Station.  Though our conversation was obviously brief, his story was powerful to really make you take a backseat.  Here’s a guy who has a son in college himself but he cannot attend classes at the moment because they rejected his financial aid.  So now he has to go back to the bursar and get all that shit cleared up.  He has to struggle to raise 3 kids on his own because his wife succumbed to cancer four years ago.  He does say that his wife passing away was a burden lifted from his shoulders and that is understandable, because no child should have to see their mother suffering like that.  Yet, even with all of that- he isn’t miserable because of the little things that he still is successful holding on to.  Those who do have the money will never understand; in their thirst for the green they realize that the pastures they’re heading to still doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be green also.  I forget his name, but he gave it to me and to look him up on the faculty directory if I ever needed  something.  Hmm.

And so on.


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October 2010
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