23 May 2010

Cabbie Chronicles#2: The Streets Got Him

Recently I took a cab to the office and I was talking with the cab driver – a wonderful gentleman who drives the cab on a part-time basis. He was very friendly, talking with me about the city, and about how he doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. He talked about how he tries to stay focused on good and right living. Then he shared with me a very real and raw story.

It went like this:

Cabbie: I had a son who died in 2002. He was just 20 years old.

Me: Oh my god, I’m so sorry for your loss. The streets got him?

Cabbie: Yeah.

Cabbie: I raised him up from the time he was born, until he was 18, you know? When he was born his mother didn’t want to raise him, didn’t want to be a mother. So I took him full time and he came up hard you know? But he was a good kid. Well, when he got to 18, his mother wanted to step in and be a part of his life. I wasn’t going to say no, you know? It’s his mother.

Me: Yeah. I would have done the same thing.

Cabbie: Yeah, you know, I’m not like that. So she started calling him and he would go over to visit – getting to know her I guess. Then when he was 20 she called him, because some female relative was having a problem with a relationship or something, so he went over there, got into something with them, and they killed him.

[prolonged silence]

Me (whispering): I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry.

Cabbie: Yeah. So. It took me 5 years to get it back together after that … it’s been a hard road back.

Me: Wow. I just can’t get my head around it – that was the best she could do after 2 years of mothering or whatever she was doing.

Cabbie: Yeah. That was the best she could do. It’s taken me a while to get back, but I’m making it, one step at a time.

Me: Thank you for sharing your story with me; I am humbled and honored. Thank you.

Then we started talking about something else – the directions to the building I was headed, the traffic. As we continued to talk, I noticed he had tears in his eyes.