Sleepwalking my way through life: "I'm feeling oddly philosophical."



"I'm feeling oddly philosophical."

I checked my watch again.

The luminous hands read just past eleven. It had been a hell of a day. I looked out the taxi window and saw the night life of Glasgow in all it's glory. The throngs of people making their ways to various places for various night outs. I make a quiet sigh before my attention returns to the inside of the car. The seat was deep, comfy and , combined with the dull pang of air freshener, I was pretty relaxed. The driver in front of me laughed at something out the window and I eyed him in the mirror for a moment. I finally struck up a conversation.

"So, where you from?" I ask, looking out the window again.

"Crookston." He replied.

"Really? That's where my girlfriend lives."

"That pretty young thing that we left at the station?"

I smiled to myself. "Yeah."

It had been one hell of a day.

"She looked nice." He said, looking at me through the wing mirror. "Not caked in make-up like some of the girls out there."

"I know."

"She seemed more real."

"You got that from a three second conversation?" I laughed.

He laughed back, a cheery, light hearted laugh. "She isn't like that girl over there I can tell you." He said, indicating to a solitary girl on the pavement. A scarf wrapped around her waist like a skirt and knee high leather boots with heels as thin as pin points. She wobbled up and down the pavement in an attempt to look sexy. "She needs to wiggle her hips, not her whole body."

"She could be just shivering. It's pretty cold out there."

"If it was two foot of snow she'd still be wearing that get-up I tell you."

"Well it's fashion over function." I muse.

"I don't get that. When I buy shoes, I buy them 'cause they protect my feet, not 'cause they go with my new coat."

"It's an image thing." I say. "Back at school we had a big snow storm once, absolutely terrible. Harsh winds and freezing snow that was about a foot deep. Most of us came into school all wrapped up to protect ourselves from the cold, but there was this one girl who didn't. She was the styled type, you know, always came in all done up and perfect. Well that day she didn't bother to wrap up and came in soaking and shivering like mad."

"Oh, that blue top is so pretty on you, it matches your perfectly blue skin!"

"Exactly!" I laugh.

We drop the conversation for a while. I look out the window again and watch the world pass by. Street lamps illuminate young couples walking happily down the street, hand in hand. Lights are on in tenements, houses, flats. The world seems to be alight with life. I'm feeling oddly philosophical.

"Bloody lights." Driver says as he brakes at another set of traffic lights.

"They're good and bad at the same time."

"How'd you mean?"

"Well, they help people cross the road safely, but at the same time they're a nuisance to drivers."

"Not all people. Most cross the road without lights. Which is ridiculous seeing as there are lights almost everywhere."

"Maybe they purposefully decide to cross without lights. You know, to seem rebellious."

"That could be the case," he laughed, "but I wonder. If you put lights on every inch of the pavement, what would they do? They probably wouldn't know what to do with themselves."

"I'd be more worried about all those disgruntled drivers. All those lights!"

He laughed again. "There should be some law about crossing the road. Like in foreign countries. In America you get a fine, in Sweden you get charged, and in Germany you even get thrown in jail!"

"Really?"

"Yeah! They say that if you're at a set of red lights in Germany and there are no cars for a hundred miles, if you take a step onto the road a hand grabs your shoulder and pulls you back, assuming you've made a mistake."

"Crazy."

"I know. And what do we get? People dancing about in the middle of the roads."

"There's a bright side to it though. You get plenty of opportunities to test your brakes."

"Yeah, but not all brakes are up to standard. I heard somewhere that one in ten brakes are faulty."

"That's disconcerting."

"I know. And I tell you, when was the last time you saw someone check their tire pressure or look under their car for brakes?"

I thought for a moment. He was right. Beside the occasional people at the petrol station checking out their cars, no one did it.

"Can't think of any can you?" he said, interrupting my thoughts.

"You're right," I said, "but now I'm feeling slightly uneasy about this car."

He laughed. "Don't worry, I check this car every week. Regulations you see. And I have to- SHIT!"

The car swerved to the left as another car on the other side of the road narrowly missed us. I caught a glimpse of laughing men, drinks in their hands and beaming faces. The taxi levels itself and we're on course again.

"Jesus, that was a bit close!" Driver gasped.

"You're telling me."

After a short pause, Driver speaks again. "Now, if we didn't have brakes just there, where do you think we would be."

"In a crumpled mess on the side of the pavement back there?"

"Exactly. It makes you think doesn't it?"

"About how you can climb into a car and never climb out? Yeah, it's scary. But that's what makes life interesting I suppose. All those little dangers and risks we take every day."

"Makes you feel alive."

"I suppose."

A thoughtful silence filled the taxi. I thought of all the times I could have been a splatter on someone's windshield. Someone's messy speed bump. No doubt my driver friend was thinking about the same things.

"And it isn't just people who have messed up brakes." He began again, a little slower. "It's people who don't have good reaction time either. Like when they're on those mobile phones."

My phone begins to ring. Speak of the devil.

"Can you give me a sec? My phone's ringing."

He laughs. "Sure. Go ahead."

I pick it up. It's my mum asking where I am and when I'll be home. I fill her in on the details and hang up. A glance out the window tells me that I'm almost home. Too bad, I think. I'm having too much fun.

"That the mother?"

"Yeah. Just wondering about me."

"At least that call was short. I get people in here who talk non-stop. There was one two girls who sat in the back. And one of them was on their phone constantly, leaving the other out."

"And the point in that being?"

"I don't know! Can you imagine the invitation out? 'Hi, do you wanna come out this Saturday to listen to me talk endlessly on my phone?' Bloody mobile phones I tell ya."

"It isn't all bad. It can be used for emergencies and stuff. That's what mine is mostly for. Well, that and talking to my friends. Oh, take a left here."

"I don't own a phone, or a computer for that matter."

"Really? I can't live without either... Pathetic huh?"

"No, it's my choice anyway."

"I suppose. Oh, take a right just now. And a right here and then down the bottom of the street." The car pulls up to in front of my house. "Just here will do."

"Ok then. That'll be eleven pounds mate."

I hand him a ten pound note and a pound coin. He takes it and stores it in a little bag on his dashboard. I open my wallet again and search around for some change.

"Look, if I had any decent change I'd give you a tip. I half to admit I had a lot of fun."

"No worries. It's been fun for me too."

He offers a hand and I shake it, a friendly smile on my face.

"Until next time." I say.

"Cherrio." He replies.

I step out the car and close the door before he drives off into the cold October night. I breathe a sigh of relief and head inside with the knowledge in my heart that I made a friend tonight. And I'll never see Driver again
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17 Comments:

At 12:30 am, Blogger You know, that Laura person. said...

Darling, you were made to be a writer.

Write, I say!

It would be a crime not to. You have talent.

*hug*

 
At 12:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, a talent at writing fiction with himself as the mother of all Mary Sue characters.

I need to go throw up, all that shinyness is making me dizzy.

 
At 12:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And before I forget again, stop getting angry at the comments left advertising stuff. You know it's not real people leaving them right? You just make yourself look (even more) foolish everytime you make reference to them.

 
At 6:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi joe, i seen you walking home. By the way nice hair lol!!!

 
At 11:15 am, Blogger Hendersex said...

Erm aye, some mighty nice people here.

Anywhoo, that was nice.

 
At 12:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we care

 
At 2:30 pm, Blogger Insane.Dilusional.Me said...

hey boy! where you been today?
But you do realise that you have used exactly the same opening in two of your blogs now. THe driver is from exactly the same place- and says exactly the same thing about Marie :P Coincidence? I think NOT!
hehe
Love CCCXXX

 
At 6:56 pm, Blogger Joe said...

Laura - Thank you m'dear.

Anonymous1 - Mary Who? Like I've sad before, this DID HAPPEN! I'll admit, it wasn't word for word (Seeing as it happened two weeks ago) but it happened. And I know that it's machines that comment-spam. I just like venting. And a final thing. Please at least leave your name, then I can take you more seriously. Anyone can do anything so long as they're not recognised. Even though I do have a decent idea of who you might be.

Anonymous2 - Thank you Jen.

Gary - Thanks.

Cara - I know that I used the same begining. It was to show that they happened on the same day since I left it out last time. Jeeeeeez.


Joe

 
At 10:53 pm, Blogger Insane.Dilusional.Me said...

ok ok ok! pfft! thats what you get for taking AGES to post it isnt it :P
X

 
At 11:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did you know it was me? did u see me im my car laughing at you!

 
At 11:47 pm, Blogger Joe said...

Funny.

Gimme some credit, I can tell if it's you or not.

 
At 10:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to know you know the first thing about writing.

Go look it up genius.

Anon-1

 
At 11:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who r u?

 
At 10:21 am, Blogger Joe said...

Anon-1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh. I know, this blog may seem like an exagerated story of my life, but rest assured, these things do actually happen.

And Jen, Anon-1 is a pathetic coward who likes hiding behind big words and the cloak of the interweb.
Settled?

I think so.

 
At 3:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you keep knowing when its me?
jennifer

 
At 3:00 am, Blogger Joe said...

I recognise your style of writing.

 
At 6:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooooooh

 

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