What I find so successful about Edgar Allen Poe's stories and poems is how they often capture human personality as it truly is, Poe of course presenting our more confused, distorted and sinister sides---accurate psychological profiles years before Freud and the advent of modern psychiatry. While debate continues about just what motivates human behavior, there is one, unavoidable truth: as a fellow homo-sapien you are surely going to be affected by what another member of the species does, whether or not you want it to, or like it, because it is going to happen. And of course taxi is all about human interaction, voluntary or not, you instantaneously receiving a concise introduction to who just entered your cab, the invitation reading: welcome (or not) to my world and all my assorted pluses and minuses and personality-based bugaboos. The inspiration for this brief preamble was a police call in the Fremont ushering forward a very drunk woman concealing herself behind a car:
"Get me out of here," she exclaimed, "it is all too crazy!" And so I took her home to an address almost parallel to where I found her, an address on the other of the canal located on the northern face of Queen Anne Hill. Taking three minutes to get her there, she announced that her husband would be paying the almost seven dollar fare. "I know he won't be happy with me," she commented, "we are just two days away from our first wedding anniversary."
Understanding her state of intoxication I waited at the open door while she looked for the money, asking her husband, also sounding drunk and hidden from view, where his wallet was. After taking a couple minutes she reappeared with a five-dollar bill prompting me to say, "That's fine, it's enough." which elicited a spreading of her arms into a wide U, signaling she was about to embrace me in a passionate "bear hug." Scaring the "hell-out-of-me" I swiftly avoided her octopus arms and escaped back to 1092, wanting no part of what she was offering. And there was her husband, sitting a mere four feet away! Heaven help us all is my best comment upon the subject. And good luck too because they are going to need it but perhaps not as much as four-year old Andrew who is clearly involved in a living hell not of his making.
My newest book, the nearly completed "To Age 13," is all about a child, me, who is repeatedly victimized by less-than-aware parents, which is why Andrew's situation for me is all the more poignant, understanding too well his personal dilemma. His father seems okay but his mother is entirely another story. I will never forget Andrew's anguished face. It is not funny.
I picked up Andrew and his father at the train station, both of them having just come up from Portland, Oregon, their destination an address in the Magnolia neighborhood. The two of them kept up a rousing dialog, Andrew clearly a bright and aware child. All seemed normal until the father told me we were heading for Andrew's mother's apartment building, where he had left his car. Suddenly comprehending the situation, we actually passed the mother walking with her new boyfriend.
Stopping, it turned out that Andrew would remain with his father for the afternoon while the mother wanted me to take her and the boyfriend over to a Ballard pot shop. Witnessing various interactions between all concerned is when I saw poor Andrew's pained face. I didn't want to see his intense suffering but I saw it and will never forget, his face a permanent photograph in gallery of my mind''s eye. All I can hope is that Andrew's young wisdom is somehow transferred to his adult self. Best wishes, my young friend!
Post- 4th July fireworks the passengers at Queen Anne's Kerry Park wanted to go to either North Everett or 130th & Greenwood Ave North. Most recently Uber riders, they were avoiding the Uber surge by taking a cab, the Uber surge rate to their Everett address being $188.00, greatly surpassing my estimate of $95-100 dollars. My meter to their Greenwood condo was $26.00, which got me a nine dollar tip on top. What was Uber asking for the same ride? $66.00.
Postscript Thursday 5:30 PM---They didn't get me but got my money instead!
Today I stayed in Seattle so I could attend my moving violation court date where I was represented by Doug Silva. Doug negotiated a deal where I pleaded guilty to to non-moving violation and in return receiving a reduced fine and nothing on my driving record. Though it cost me, including Doug's fee, a total of $275.00, it would have cost me much more in increased insurance costs if I had been found guilty of not obeying a traffic devise. I did enjoy my post-courtroom conversation with Doug, someone I have now known for nearly 20 years. Thanks Doug! And what a crazy world it is!