Chapter 9 Part 2 (136)

Out on the sidewalk in front of the building it seems that in the five minutes since I looked out the window the world has woken up. My only rationale is that the world revolves around my existence; it is far too complex for everything in the world to take place without my being there. When I crossed the threshold of the door everyone got their cue to leave their houses. An older man walking his poodle smiles as he walks past. Everyone wants to know the star.

As I cross the street to the park it begins to rain even though I swear it was sunny a moment ago. I hold my hand up to catch the rain. A yellow car stops in front of me.

“Getting in?” the driver inquires.

Everything for me.

“Umm sure,” I say realizing that this is a taxi.

The driver doesn’t look as I’d imagined. I pictured a cabbie hat (because why not), old style clothing, and a vest. What I get is a man with a stained t-shirt, short cropped beard, and a gray sweat pants. And he’s yelling, “Let’s go a move on,” in an accent I can’t quite place.

I got in.

He looks at me in the rear-view mirror and says nothing for a few moments before he realizes that I’m not going to speak.

“Are you going to tell me where we are going?”

“Oh, sorry, umm.” This is a good question. I had just planned on a trip to the park but it now seems like a waste when I had this vehicle at my disposal. I can’t think of anything that I wanted to do. I try to picture the pages of the tourist’s guide but I can already see that the cabbie’s face is getting red. I have to make a sudden decision.

“Museum of Natural History,” I bark.

The car speed down the block or up since we are going uptown. We are there in three minutes flat. I get out of the car, say thank you, and bolt up the steps.

Behind me I hear, “You must Pay!” and I realize that the ride that I just received was nothing more than a business transaction. Not a happy accident. But I don’t have any money on me so I take a detour and run into the park.

“IT’S NOT FREE STUPID KID!”

Everyone is staring at me. I look back at the cabbie yelling and jumping up and down but firmly refusing to leave the area surrounding his car. I decide that I’ll hide in the park until he is gone. I’m so upset that I just want to go back home.

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