At the end of the day

I am in a taxi heading back to the apartment, I am sitting at the back and then i notice a lady laying their heads across the window, sleeping. I think to myself, I know that feeling, I got use to that feeling so many times growing up.

I remember when i was young, every time the day would end and we’d (Mom and I) get into a taxi. She always wanted to sit by the window, depending on her feelings; something to lean against and then she’d fall asleep. I would look at this woman, I looked at where we were, I’d look at all the other tired black bodies. It’s the end of the day. Going back to our families. I’d tell myself “she (mom) looks so cute and stupid when asleep but I love her too bits”

There is a sort of sanctuary the taxi offers, its a dirty, unnerving, could my life end today kinda of sanctuary. Its a place of community, fucking weird isn’t it, but its true for most of us; the taxi mostly known as Ikhumbi to the darkies has offered a communal chatter room, a place of communication, a place of we all paid the same fucking amount of money so shut up!!!

I have heard so many stories while in a taxi and I assure you most of them better than any series you’ll get to watch. It’s a blend of humor, awe and sensitivity, there is always more humor than sensitive topics. As an older person I am always wondering why someone is not writing a play about a taxi ride. Note to self.

I would watch my mother drool and then minutes later in the dark pandemonium night (somehow the hood tends to be like that), I’d wake her up as we arrive, she’d awake as if she was never asleep. She never wanted to admit that side of her, the side were she too was human; that waking up at 3AM every morning did take a toll on her.

She’d wake up and we’d drag our feet to our small tiny home. I always wondered what goes on her head, what were her thoughts. I fucking knew my thoughts which were study, read, learn and be the best so she won’t have to do this anymore. I mean that’s what education promises us as black people isn’t it; that if we fucking study very hard, get all the degrees, we can be rich and never live in poverty again. We were not poor, we survived, but as Solomon Northrub once said “I don’t wanna survive, I wanna LIVE”

It was gonna be a long journey, so many taxi rides would be taken, so many Saturdays of childhood missed because one had to make means, to work and add to the plate of the little money that comes.

It’s weird to look at that history, I look at it and I don’t feel any bit bad. I never want to wonder what I could have been like if I spent my days playing football or hitting on girls, not that any of that is a crime. I think my life chose the best path of me, I am paving a way to be the best I can be, for me.

It’s also weird how this little story began as me reflecting on taxi rides to home. It’s true one memory can open a whole can of worms, everything just swims out like a school of sardines.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate and think of my mother. She did a lot, as a dream I wish I could walk in at home throw a bag full of money, I mean really and tell “go on a vacation and come back to buy a house or any shit you want”, knowing my mother she’d want to keep the money and just look at it. She loves just having money.

As I step out of the taxi, I look at it disappear from my peripheral. It has seen and experienced so much fucking shit, if it could tell stories it would have so many. I look at it and I think how many times I have gotten in and out of one. The moments were I thought the driver was too fast, or too slow or too risky, or not taking any risk “dude, are you a taxi driver or not, I’d say in my head”

Although I tediously wish for the day were I don’t get into a taxi… it drowns you. I wish I could walk everywhere but I cant. If one had to sit down and interview people who take taxis, you’d have so many stories to tell.

At the end of the day, we gather ourselves, we cry for what we wish we had, what we lost and where we want to go. At the end of the day, we reflect on ourselves.

At the end of the day, we can be better.

I am still making myself better everyday.

 

Do comment if you like to, add your own intellectual bullshit and experience of a taxi ride.

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