Al Sullivan’s Journal



Taxi drive into the future


May 2, 1972


I was lying on the floor of the Oak Street apartment today with headphones on my head when Harry Chapin’s voice came on sounding like a modern Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra.

I had never heard his voice before and listened to the old folks style out of curiosity.

 Maybe it was the story that caught the, a taxi driver dreaming about flying.  I can relate to that.  I could feel the same need inside of me. 

Louise was out on her weekly runaround with Garrick’s girlfriend, Janet.

Ruby roamed about giggling in her walker, just as she had in Portland.

I thought maybe I would pull out the headphone jack to let her listen, too. She loves the same music I do, especially The Beatles, even though she is only slightly over a year old.

But we a bastard landlord, worse than the son of a bitch we rented from in Hollywood, or even the right wing gun-toting crazy we rented from in Portland.

One note too loud and he’d be pounding on the floor for me to stop.

Listening to Chapin, I knew he was singing about me, predicting something I know has to happen soon in my life.

Suddenly, I was dreaming, not about airplanes, but driving around in a cab and seeing some woman appear in my headlights, not seeing clearly who it is until I pull over and ask where she wants to go.

I’m driving in New York, not San Francisco. The woman gives me and uptown address and I head off.

And like Chapin, I am stirred up by something in her voice, and look up to search her face in the rear view mirror, finding she is looking at me and we’re both asking the same question: Do I know you from somewhere.

Hello, Al, she says, her eye almost flirting.

I tore off the head phones abruptly woken from that day dream, still seeing Louise’s face years from now, years after we have broken up.

Is that a prediction or what?



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