January 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
This isn’t his real job. He’d like you to know that. It’s just a way of making some money, you know, just getting by.
He was a qualified mechanic, did his apprenticeship, served his time. Twenty years it was. Loved it, he did. If it wasn’t for this bloody rheumatoid arthritis, well, he’d still be there now. Nation needs mechanics. Skilled people, not bloody kids sat in front of computers all day. People building things and mending them. Proper skills.
His passenger’s checking her watch, clearly worried about whether she’ll make her train, but the more the driver talks, the slower he seems to drive, and whenever he has a particular point to make he seems to stop accelerating altogether.
He’s telling her that he’s been doing two days but that he’d like three, really. He doesn’t do nights, though, never has, so he doesn’t know what the office were thinking, putting him on all those nights. Well he told them, he said he couldn’t do it, but the cost of living’s skyrocketed, hasn’t it, and he’s a mortgage to pay. It’s not so bad, is it, taxi driving, at least you get to meet people, that’s what he likes best. All the conversation, the things you find out.
The woman in the back of the cab is reflecting on how the only word’s she’s said are ‘railway station, please’, but she remains silent; he continues his monologue, endlessly grinding and turning his words so that they are clean of anything that might catch or snag.