I stood in the taxi stand line at the hotel and waited for the bellman to whistle down a cab. It pulled up, Edmond at the wheel: 50s, grey mustache, baseball hat and wire-rimmed glasses. He looked like an older version of my soccer coach from ninth grade, the one who had us stand in a validation circle after each practice, our arms slung around each others' necks, sharing compliments of what we noticed each other do well that day. I told Edmond I needed to go to the bank and gave him the address. He coughed and apologized, "I just ate a sandwich." "Do your thing," I said. "It's cool."
A block or so later he asked me what my favorite Christmas gift was. I hesitated so he said, "Here, I'll tell you mine," and held up a wrist so I could see his watch. He pushed a button on the side, "It lights up!" "Nice!" I said, "Mine is leggings from my husband. They have eyeballs all over them."
"Where are you from?" He asked. "I'm from Montana." We got a little lost and he compared his GPS to his wife, "I think I know everything already but it's always better when I give in and ask for help." We found Chase but had to cross six lanes of traffic to get to the parking lot. Calmly he pulled into a lane of oncoming cars and sat unmoving. When they honked and went around us he told me, "I used to drive an ambulance so I still act like I have flashing lights and a siren." "You're very confident," I said.
On the way home from the bank we talked about marriage, the Grand Canyon, the far-right Republican party, and he drove a good 20 feet atop a center island to avoid waiting to get in the left turn lane. At one point in our conversation, I heard myself say, "I'd freeze to death if I had to choose how I'd die," and I knew Edmond is my current favorite cab driver. He may not obey traffic laws but he really seems to enjoy his work and is strangely engaging.
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