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Being a taxi driver can be quite rewarding in more ways than one. It is a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wants no boss. I became an uncertified yet trusted therapist. Because I usually drove the night shift, my cab became a moving shul. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and confessed their sins, eager for advice. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep, and occasionally utterly offended. Even with all of the wonderful pleasures driving people around brought me, there were many drawbacks.
My foot was tapping the floor as if it was a metronome to Stevie Wonder. Sir Duke was playing on a small AM radio on a diner counter. My shirt was sticking to my chest because of the expected heat and humidity of New York, mid- July, weather. I forgot to do laundry that week, so my only option was to wear a black and white pinstriped button down shirt, made of itchy wool, that my ex girlfriend bought me two years ago. I looked like I was part of a losing bowling team. It was early in the morning and I was sitting alone, with a toothpick in my teeth, looking over my coffee. Time was rotting in me, and all I could think of the whole morning, was going to sleep in the afternoon, and I would wake up with the sour remembrance of the long night in my taxi ahead of me, while everybody else was doing as they damn pleased. A fellow taxi comrade was talking about how he swallowed a LSD tablet a week ago and had a life changing experience during his shift. He offered me a tablet and instructed me to try it out that same day. “LSD is the catalyst that opens up the mind, that gets us in touch with our potential, and this is the only way that the country will ever change for the better,”...

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...ddress, presumably consulting his own GPS, or Google maps, or a Magic Eight Ball, and passing along instructions to my wild-eyes. Too bad it was 1973. I became alarmed. Living in New York City for over twenty years and I had no clue where I was. I had absolutely no idea who I was, or where I was going. I decided to continue going straight. Hopefully that would get me somewhere safe.
The sun was piercing my vision. New York City had a million colors I never noticed. I felt bad for the guy in the back, because I knew this was the cab ride from hell, so I decided to get off the freeway and leave him near a bus stop. We had a mutual unspoken agreement: I didn’t ask for money and he didn’t bother to give me any money. I decided it was time for me to get out of this confined space and go sit in Central Park. My peak was over and I knew this was the near end of my trip.

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