Coffee Rhetoric: Taxi Tales: Eubanks

November 30, 2010

Taxi Tales: Eubanks

 As a karate expert, I won't pontificate about the seemingly fluctuating state of mental illness amidst today's cult of personality. There's nowhere for people to go in these crazy times and the numbers are too damn high (spoken in this voice).  

That disclaimer of sorts aside, every now and again I'll find myself in the most random of random-est situations. It has finally dawned on me that for the past seventeen years of my life, I've been walking around with an invisible WEIRDO WHISPERER stamp emblazoned on my forehead, only visible to members of the Special People's Club. A signal akin to that whistle only audible to cats and dogs. Of course, I nor those with any semblance of sanity or stability have the ability to see it. Which makes it somewhat difficult for me to navigate and avoid certain personalities and circumstances. I mean, what other explanation could there possibly be for the strange, David Lynch-like encounters I find myself becoming an unwilling participant in?  ... 
While en route to a meeting at a facility I've never been to before, I decided a cab would be my likeliest bet, if I were to successfully reach my destination within a certain time-frame and in avoidance of having to walk up and down that particular street looking perplexed, searching for some elusive building. The directions I was given were opaque at best and I just wasn't in the mood for all of that hunting foolery. I dealt with shoddy directions two weeks prior, while carrying a heavy package to a post office I was told was only "three minutes away" from where I was working. It wasn't fun.
The cab driver was a chatty, middle-aged Black man. The cab? A raggedy and stale, onion-y smelling vehicle that rattled... the type of taxi where late-night 'business deals' took place... transactions squirted and crusted to a dry, inconspicuous stain on the backseat. It certainly wasn't one of the fresher looking or smelling ones. Pressed for time, I Kanye-shrugged and scrambled on in the back. Foreboding told me I'd be in for an unusual ride when my driver parked across the street from me, then called my cell phone claiming not to see where I was... despite my standing in front of a major, looming historical building downtown waving madly at him... in his line of vision. He stuttered, "I'oun see you... ummm where you at? Oh, that's you? Want me to stop in front of there?" I hung up on him, rolled my eyes, and just crossed the busy street. 
Upon getting in, the cabbie apologized for the state of his car and explained he was driving that one until his new one was ready. I shrugged my indifference and repeated the address I needed to get to. He made small talk, then kicked around ideas as to where the building in question might be. Then suddenly... 
"Are you the type who likes to hold your feelings inside?" 
Confused by the question, I pressed my lips together then shot an "oh boy, here we go" look in his direction. I didn't answer. 
"Well, I'm the type who likes to hold my feelings inside," he continued. "See, it's because I know a lot of information. Information the government don't want nobody to know about." 
I stayed silent and turned my head to look out the window. 
"You have a business card?" He asked. 
Looking down at my purse, I spied the top of my card holder nestled against my wallet, and pushed it down deeper, feigning as if I was digging for one. 
"No. Sorry. Fresh out." I lied, dryly... turning back to the window. 
"See, I know a lot of things. Big money maker stuff, but if I can just get a hold of some of these CEOs ... and just make that connection..."
"Oops, looks like we're here!" I interrupted. "That's 227. That must be the building!" I said, already halfway out the cab as I thrust 8 dollars at him. 
"Miss, you sure you outta cards? Because I really need to talk to someone to help me get this secret out there. Trust me, it's a big one that'd make people a lot of money. There's stuff I know about the government folks don't even know about. I don't even really like talking about it. I usually hold it inside" He pressed. 
"Yup, all out." I answered brusquely, still trying to scramble out. "Thanks again!" I said, fearful my holder would fall out... spilling several of my glossy cards on the floor of the cab as my judgement. 

He thrust a generic YELLOW CAB card at me. No name on it... 
"Call me please," he insisted, "So I can tell you some of the ideas I have... or just call me if those folks in there start aggravating you." 
"Ummm..." I started... 
"Just call me, uhh ... Eubanks for now." He answered.
"Right." I said. 
"Don't lose that." He warned. 
"Mmm hmm." I answered, finally free of the stale cab's clutches (I was having issues getting the eff out, as if I were being pulled back by some adamant force of nature)
Free of the cab's pull and of Eubank's shifty, money-making secrets. And out into the fresh air ... quickly up the stairs to the building... and no I didn't look back at the cab. 
That invisible WEIRDO WHISPERER stamp must've been glaringly bright yesterday morning ...