Thursday, June 9, 2016

Not Alone

Not Alone
This picture is definitely not the crown jewel of my work, but it holds a special part of my heart.

A taxi driver is a very lonely existence. You are out there for 12 hours a night, 6 nights a week essentially picking up hitchhikers for a living. The exact thing we were told never to do from a young age. You spend the night isolated, broke and feeling alone. 

In between runs we had gathering spots where we would park our taxis. Some would nap. Some read. Many of us would sip coffee, smoke cigarettes and talk with our taxis clustered together. In those moments we were no longer alone. Sometimes, one of the dispatchers would try to tell us to spread it out. She did not understand that this gathering was the only thing that kept us sane and safe and alive. So we ignored her. 

We were no longer alone. We had the same experiences and the same station in life and the same stories and even knew the same passengers. We were together. We understood. Often the most beautiful thing would happen. We who had little would help out each other who also had little. We knew there was a difference between having little and having nothing and we lived close to that line all the time. 

We were community. More than any church. More than any online meetup group. More than any bond anyone else could understand because we were honest and raw. 

If you ever feel like you are alone and isolated and at the bottom, I promise you there are people just like us huddled together somewhere in the exact same position. The me too factor will not only breach the darkness of the loneliness, but they will sometimes even help with a few bucks, a spare cigarette or a cup of coffee. It will save your life and for a time. It will get you through another desperate night.  Ignore the authority on the radio telling you to not commune and find safe harbor. You are not alone. 

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