Here is an account of a ride I would never forget being a cab driver.
I work as a cab driver in A1 Cars London.
The night shift turned my cab into a rolling confessional. In total discretion, passengers would climb in and tell me what their lives have been like.
I was amazed, made to laugh, and made to weep by the lives of people.
And none of those lives touched me more than that of a man I picked up late at night near “Knightsbridge estate agency”, at Mayfair London.
I waited for a long time, but the client did not arrive. Any other cab driver would have left, but I went up the stairs to her door at 2:30 in the morning.
The cab was the only means of transportation for too many people living in poverty, and I understand that. My approach to finding passengers was always to go to the door unless there was a real danger involved.
Perhaps this person needs my help, I reasoned. How would you like it if your mother or father called for a cab?
Upon reaching the door, I knocked.
The voice of an aged and infirm person responded, “Just a minute.” Something was being dragged across the floor.
A long pause followed before the door opened. An elderly man appeared before me.
By his side, he had a small suitcase. He dragged it along the floor as he walked.
Are you willing to carry my bag out to the car?. “Give me a few minutes. Would you mind coming back and helping me? It would be much appreciated.” he asked politely.
Then, I returned to help the man after taking the suitcase to the cab. He repeatedly thanked me for my generosity.
Then he asked, “Could you take me through downtown?” as we got in the cab, even though we both knew it was not the shortest way. But there was no rush as he was on his way to the nursing home.
His eyes were sparkling.
“I have no family left,” he continued. “The doctor suggests I go to the nursing home. My time is short.”
The only gesture that came to my mind was shutting off the meter.
We then drove for two hours through the city. In those two hours, he relieved his memories by showing me his working place, his neighborhood where he lived with his wife, where his wife went for dancing practice.
I drove to the address he gave me in silence. As soon as we reached, they opened the door and began assisting the man without waiting for me. They were observant and attentive, watching his every move.
“How much do I owe you?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I said.
I hugged him almost instinctively. His grip was tight.
I saw an old man smile. He thanked me for giving him a little moment of joy.
There was nothing more to say.
I did not pick up any more passengers after that shift.
But some thought revolved within me,
What if he had encountered an angry or impatient driver? What if I hadn’t taken the run or honked once and then driven away? Had I been pissed off?
Is there any other moment like that I missed or did not capture?
We are conditioned to believe that great moments reign supreme throughout our lives. We are frequently surprised by such moments.
It was possible to believe I had been sent here only to give him that last ride.
It was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced in my life.