Taxi Driver

June 18, 2013

“Uncle, Clarke Quay ha?” you slur, hanging unsteadily on the door. I nod a silent assent, a rhetorical volley lobbed uselessly over the net and just as redundantly spooned back in a country where taxi drivers have no right of refusal. I sip my 6th coffee of the night from a little disposable plastic pouch, that uniquely Singaporean economical adaptation for a population on the move, and ask “Which way you wanna go?” You mumble “Up to you, lah”, your fingers busy tapping away at your phone.
I glance quickly into the rear-view mirror. You’re high but not dangerously drunk yet – the difference between another ordinary night and one that assails my nostrils with the putrid, pungent punch of dried vomit and 55 proof alcohol.
Driving you silently through the streets, my mind turns to thoughts of us city dwellers, asleep in our own cocoons. We pass each other every day, you and I, parallel lines in Euclidean space fated to intersect only when we choose to bend the lines. Like the time when we watched, horrified, as a blazing yellow Lamborghini jumped the red light and and sliced right through the engine of the taxi in front of us. Witnesses of the State, we bent the lines to corroborate each other’s statements, masking our fear and relief with factual words


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