The Cab Ride
I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.
'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor..
After a long pause, the door opened.
A small woman in her 90's stood before me..
She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it,
Like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.
In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb..
She kept thanking me for my kindness.
'It's nothing', I told her..
'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.
'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked,
'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.
'I'm in no hurry.
I'm on my way to a hospice'.
I looked in the rear-view mirror.
Her eyes were glistening.
'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..
'The doctor says I don't have very long.
'I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
When they were newlyweds.
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once
Been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner
And would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing..
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,
'I'm tired. Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home,
With a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up..
They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?'
She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.
Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,
Or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once,
then driven away?
On a quick review,
I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully
wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY
WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL
ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
Anyway, lunch today has inspired yet another query to make of you, my lovely readers:
What are some of your favorite odd food combinations? Lunch today is leftover fritatta topped with dijon mustard.
Have at it, folks.
Deadline: preferably asap, but no later than Friday afternoon as this is for Yule on Saturday.
Thanks to any and all who can help in any way.
Greetings all! I am going to shamelessly plagiarize from my response to a fellow LJer who made inquiries about MoonBough.
Last night we officially became MoonBough guild, with me as guild leader and Hubby and I as co-founders. The final signature came from an LJer who responded to the MoonBough post here. Nice guy and a great player. The guild is primarily Alliance, but there are members who also have/want Horde characters which they wish to play as well. Currently the level range is from low (7 or so) to high (DK). There's a lot of experience among the players which brings great benefit to everyone...especially those of us who are the newbs, ;) Presently most of us are either A) leveling up lower level characters on solo quests or B) playing similar level characters in group quests...the idea being to form raiding parties and have a blast killing monsters, saving the regions from encroaching evil, and of course, getting lots o'loot, :)
We're psyched and surging forward.
*doing the Happy Dance*
One continuous note resounding through the guild is how members are really happy to have a LGBT venue in which they can be themselves and enjoy gaming without fear of harassment.
See you ingame!
Well met all! This is a shameless plug for our WoW guild, MoonBough, on the Cenarion Circle server. I am the guild master and my character Vrethij, a level 17 Night Elf Priest, holds the charter. Currrently we are about halfway to completing our charter and would welcome new members for completing the charter and, of course, some really fun gaming. To our knowledge ours is the only LGBT-friendly guild on the server. When we first announced it in the WoW recruitment forums all kinds of ugliness surfaced, but our friends and allies rose to the challenge and handily dealt with those who would like to see us go away and stay away. Below is the text of the announcement. All are invited to check the forums for reference. Thank you for your indulgence,
About Us: We (Don and David) are an older gay married couple (ages 39 and 49 respectively, married in MA and currently living in the Boston area) with Alliance and Horde characters on the Cenarion Circle realm. We are relatively new to WoW but desiring of a regular, LGBT accepting, family-friendly guild in which to game and continue learning/growing and having fun. Don is a full-time public health researcher for a university in Boston and is finishing a doctorate half-time in health services research with a special interest in the measurement of LGBT health outcomes; he is also a member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. David has recently returned to school full-time to complete his undergraduate degree. We have been fans of Blizzard since the early, pre-online version of Diablo.
Why Found an LGBT-Friendly Guild? While new to WoW we have played other MMOGs for several years. Over that time we have heard stories of LGBT guild members being afraid to "come out" to their guild mates and also witnessed some comments and behavior in the past among gamers that could be interpreted as homophobic. Our primary motivation in forming MoonBough was to create a safe gaming space for LGBT persons, their friends, and their families; we also welcome adult LGBT accepting members of all races, ethnicities, genders and sexual identities.
What Are the Requirements for Joining MoonBough?
1). Be age 18 or older and LGBT-accepting (prefer age 21 or older, but will also consider potential membership requests from those between the ages of 18 and 21)
2) Willing to help those new to WoW to grow, learn and develop (willingness to create a new character to help newbies is especially welcome)
3) Accepting of those who choose to have families (LGBT or otherwise) and willing to include some "family game nights" free of adult language or sexual content as part of the gaming experience so that MoonBough family members under the age of 18 can have a chance to participate with their parents or adult family members.
4) Please have at least one non-guilded Alliance character that you would be willing to have sign our charter and play as part of MoonBough (Horde characters are also welcome, but for the purposes of guild-formation the charter is currently Alliance-side, and held by our Charter Master, Vrethij).
What About RP? David and Don both love RP and RP members are always welcome. Our goal is to offer a combination of RP and non-RP gaming experiences to reflect the interests of our membership and we deliberately chose RP-appropriate names for both the guild and our characters.
What Is the Status of MoonBough's Guild Formation? As of 02/01/2009 we have four members and are actively recruiting new members. New potential members can expect an e-mail exchange with me and/or David and if that goes well, an invitation to "meet" and play together in-game. If that goes well, you will receive an invitation to sign our charter and join our Google Group. Under NO circumstances do we offer gold or items in exchange for charter signatures; we want those who join MoonBough to join us because they want to be here.
Our Google Group pages are restricted to members to protect the privacy of our membership. Friends and family members of MoonBough members are, of course, also welcome to join. We also have no intention of becoming a huge guild. It is important to us that everyone has a chance to really get to know one another, become friends, and enjoy large and small group gaming together. For that reason we will cap our membership at 25 and close recruitment at that time.
Who Do I Contact to Join? Please send an e-mail to Don at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of how you learned about us and why you'd like to join.
We're looking forward to hearing from you!
As Don said, "We couldn't have *bought* this kind of publicity."