Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What a Little Music Can Do.

Bitches! No worse -  a couple of snots. Wouldn’t even look my way when they got in the cab. Too high class. For me? Huh! Drab looking snips. Snippy voice snapping out an address. A please at the end as in: 
“Union and Webster ... pu-leeease.”
Not a request. A command. The way one talks to one’s servants. Or, the way these prigs imagined that one might talk to one’s servants if one had servants. 
Then the inevitable insipid conversation. Barbie doll talk. How the last date went ... “the coolest bar in town ... the drinks cost $12 but the bartenders really mix a great drink.” Right - it takes a real artist to make a bourbon and water, “... you won’t believe what happened to Rachel ... did you hear about Jan and Bob? ... what are we gonna do Tuesday night?”  
What are you ever gonna do, witch?
I turned up the stereo to drown the dialogue. My classic rock 50’s mix. Chuck Berry. Fats Domino. Chuck Berry again. Then Wimoweh - ’61 Tokens version.
“My god!” one of them said, “You’re playing the greatest CD.”
“Yeah!” the other one seconded, ”Can you turn this up?”
“I can do better than that,” I said as I turned the volume up to rock out blast, “Let’s take it from the top.”
“In the village, the peaceful village the lion sleeps tonight ...” we sang. One mezzo, one contralto, my awesome bass.
“My god you’ve got an awesome bass!” The mezzo gushed.
I checked her in the mirror. Red haired. Not really too bad.
“A wimoweh! A wimoweh!” We sang along. They couldn’t quite hit the high notes. I tried falsetto. Did it for a few bars then my voice cracked and gargled to a wheeze.
We broke out laughing. I went back to bass. 
“A wimoweh! A wimoweh!” We sang out slightly off key but gleefully.
We pulled in front of their bar.
“This is the best cab ride ever!” the red head explained.
“It’s awesome!” Her blond friend said.
“You’re got an awesome bass,” The red mezzo said again as she climbed out. She reached back and gave me her card.
“You were awesome too,” I told her. “ Awesome.”

"Awesome!" She said laughing at my mockery.
She’s a hair stylist. I can always use a cut.

Monday, June 27, 2011


“Is the San Francisco Airport in Oakland?” She asked me in an Indian accent. She was in her thirties, dark skinned, attractive and wearing a business suit.”
“No,” I replied laughingly, “I’m going to turn just before the Oakland onramp - good question though. You sound like my girlfriend. She thinks my routes are crazy.”
“Have you been together long?”
“Five years.”
“Why aren’t you married?”
“Another good question,” I said laughing again, “We’re too old for kids and everybody ends up divorced anyway, so why marry?”
“That’s probably the right approach ... of course one can’t do that in India.”
“No living in sin?”
It was her turn to laugh.
“Of course but not for respectable girls like me.”
“Are you happily married?”
“We are now but we had a rough patch. I’m certain we would have divorced if we’d lived here. He used to beat me. Have you ever beaten a woman?”
“No - where I come from it’s lowest thing a man can do.”
“Where I come from the man has the right to beat a disobedient wife.”
“And you were disobedient?”
“Not only disobedient but defiant - as my mother-in-law put it." 
"It started when I invited her over to dinner and she said that I should clean my house better. I told her that my house was as clean as I could get it ... I make more money than my husband although his family is richer ... I said if she didn’t like it she could clean it herself because I needed to work to pay the bills that her son couldn’t pay ... that’s what started it ... I’m only telling you this because I’ll never see you again ...  after that my husband and I fought all the time.”
“Did he hit you hard.”
“Oh yes - as hard as he could. But, to the tell the truth, I wouldn’t let myself be beaten.  I fought back and I beat him worst than he beat me.”
“How long did this go on for?”
“Several years ... finally we sat down and had a talk. We decided that all our fights were about our parents so we would never discuss our parent again. Since then we’ve been very happy.”
“That was it?”
“Indian men are mama’s boys. If I didn’t mention his mother, there was no reason to fight. I’m raising my sons to be independent so the question of disobedience will never come up.”