Sunday, December 14, 2014

The taxi driver and the edge of things

It’s half past four in the morning when the taxi comes.

As soon as I open the door he’s telling me what a terrible hour he’s had, with him having a puncture, and having to call into the garage, and changing the tyre, and getting black all over.

He’s calling me ‘ma’am’ which I find is the one thing I’m really concerned about, but I’m being as sympathetic as I can and agreeing with his choice of route to the airport and laughing at his suggestion that maybe the apocalypse has finally come, given that we haven’t seen a single car on the road and maybe us two are the only people left alive in the whole world

And then it’s his 7 children and four grandchildren and isn’t it a joy having grandchildren but doesn’t it all make Christmas expensive, and this is where it happened just here, and he saw the pothole and tried to avoid it and missed it with his front wheels but just got it with his back and he heard the air escaping, and he thought “Oh no”

And did I hear him calling me ‘sir’? And does it matter?

And then another “sir” just as we’re pulling in to the terminal and I think, yes, yes it does matter and start explaining he was right the first time with his madam because I’m transgender.

And he starts to apologise, oh dear I’m so sorry I hope I haven’t offended you

And I say I know my voice is quite masculine I really should do more of those voice exercises

Just to make him feel better, and he’s saying how he clocked the nice earrings as I got into the cab, and he thought my wife would really like a pair like that and do you mind if I talk about you with my pals in the pub, nicely like

And you look very feminine, absolutely, he says as I leave, and “Here you are y dear the waiter says as he brings my eggs in the Heathrow terminal where I’m having my breakfast and I think I really should stop getting pleasure out of men condescending to me

But then why not, another voice says, why not take pleasure, in this daily journey I am every day taking  across inner and outer frontiers

As I sit feeling happy on the far edge of things

Eating my breakfast.

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