I had to go to the dentist. My dentist’s office is on Fifth Avenue, two blocks from where I used to live there. Going there always leaves me feeling strangely nostalgic. It was humid and I was tired; I decided to take a cab home to the Upper West Side.
Historically shift change for cab drivers has always been between 4:00 and 5:30, just when they’re most needed. This was supposed to have changed when they received a recent much needed, but hurtful for the customer, raise.
I was going to give up and walk which I should have been doing anyway, when I saw a woman getting out of a cab. I ran. The cab driver was a handsome Asian-looking man. Fifth Avenue, further down, was a mess of news trucks and people.
“Oh, the snowflake,” I said, “they’re finally changing the snowflake, and putting it up tonight.”
The cab driver didn’t understand what I meant. He thought that I was a tourist who wanted to see Fifth Avenue. I explained that the snowflake was hung over Fifth for the winter.
The cab driver asked me to explain what a snow flake is. I’m still trying. How do you explain the brilliance of one fleck of snow?
The cab driver turned out to be from Nepal and we spent the rest of the ride chit chatting. Just normal conversation; nothing sparkling; nothing out of the ordinary.
When we arrived at my building he refused my fare.
“You can’t. Nobody ever refuses my money.”
“You have soft voice. You very nice. You good to talk to.”
Then he rode away.
Sometimes life is a wonderful thing.