A taxi in New York wrote :
I arrived at the address, and I honked. After waiting a few minutes, I honks again. As it was my last race of the day, I thought I’d leave, but, finally, I parked and then I’m headed out the door and I toqué.
“Just a minute,” replied a voice of an older person. I could hear something was dragging on the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A little woman 90 years stood in front of me. She wore a printed dress and a hat with a veil, like a film character of the 1940s.
Next to it there was a small nylon case. The apartment looked as if nobody had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered in sheets.
There was no clock on the walls, no furniture and no utensils on the counters. In a corner there was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Could you carry my luggage up to the car?” she said. I carried the suitcase up to my car, then went back to help the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly towards the edge of the sidewalk.
She did not stop to thank me for my kindness. “This is nothing,” I said to him ” I simply try to treat my passengers the way I would like my mother to be treated. “
“Oh, you’re a good boy,” she said. When we got in the car, she gave me an address, then asked: “Can you pass through the town centre? ”
“This is not the shortest way,” I replied.
“Oh, it doesn’t bother me,” she said. “I’m not in a hurry. I go to the hospice. “
I looked in the rear view mirror. His eyes sparkled. “I don’t have a family,” she said in a sweet voice. “The doctor said that I no longer for a very long time. “I’ve discreetly stopped the meter.
“What route would you like me to take? “I asked.
During the two hours that followed, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. It made me stop in front of a furniture warehouse, which at the time was a ballroom where she went dancing when she was a young girl.
Sometimes, she asked me to slow down in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, without saying anything.
When the sun began to reach the horizon, she suddenly said, ” I am tired I will like that we were going there now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a small building, like a small convalescent home, with a portico to enter a driveway.
Two nurses came out and headed towards the taxi. They were very attentive and watched all the movements of the old lady. Obviously they were waiting for her arrival.
I opened the trunk and carried the small suitcase up to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How many of you do I? “To me she asked, opening her bag.
“Nothing,” I tell him
“You have to earn your life,” she answered.
“There will be other passengers,” I replied.
Almost without thinking, I leaned in and gave it a hug. She squeezed me hard.
“You have given a small moment of joy to an old lady,” she said. “I thank you. “
I shook his hand, and I turned around. Behind me, a door slammed, it was the sound of a life ending.
I did not take any passenger for the rest of my race. I drove aimlessly lost in my thoughts.
I have practically not spoken to the rest of the evening. What would have happened if this woman had to make a driver angry, or someone impatient and in a hurry ? And if I had refused to take the run, or had honked several times, and then left without waiting ?
After reflection, I don’t think I have done something more important in my life.
We are conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But the great moments are often of the nice, small moments that we don’t pay enough attention.