Undoubtedly there are many unsung, Uncapitalized Cabbies out tonight, who will later write about their experiences—on their blogs, intended for all eyes, or in tattered composition books pulled from under the bed, to be carefully replaced as the sun rises. It's unlikely I'm the best writer among them. I'm just luckier.
However, there is one former night cabbie, so much better than I that it makes my teeth hurt. His writing was far less modest than its original distribution. A few folks got to read it, or got to hear it—until he was foolish enough to send it to me. Not fenced in by word count, he sometimes soared like I dreamed I might here, yet never truly could. Everything of his ended up far from where it started, ended up about something real. Here's about half of a longer piece:
"She sat in the back cracking jokes: 'What do you get with a room of 50 lesbians and 50 politicians? A hundred people who don't do dick.' The funniest thing was something Louise herself did not even know. That I am a politician. I was the butt of the joke. She had looked at me and saw a cab driver. Maybe I should have told Louise that what you see may not be what you get. A transvestite would have appreciated that. In politics, everything is about appearances. I spend my time making people familiar with my name, but people don't really know me at all. In the taxi, it's the other way around. Nobody knows my name, though we're as close as the distance between the seats. Intimacy and anonymity collide.
"People say they want the truth, but often punish whoever gives it to them. We say we want honest politicians, but how many truly honest politicians get rewarded? Honest lovers? Honest friends? Ask yourself that the next time you watch a commercial. Can you handle the truth? Well, I'll give you the truth. I hope you want it."
Oh, the politician? Now Metro president, then council member, David Bragdon.