Hi From Alabama!


Unfortunately, I’ve got no good images to share. Considered taking a picture while in the plane, looking out the window… but felt that’s been overdone. In retrospect, I really wish I had taken a few shots of us coming for a landing.

But let me back up a bit. After running around the apartment and getting everything packed, I lug all my crap from my apartment to North Avenue. Normally, I’d call to ensure that a cab would arrive to take me to the airport (I felt lazy, and didn’t want to spend extra time on the train). But today, I figured hell – I’ll let the Fates decide and just test my luck on the street. Before I am even able to cross over to the other side of North Avenue, I spot a cab and he pulls up to let me in. Rock.

In the car, I strike up a conversation with the cabbie. After we talk about Alabama, he finds out that I’m going to teach a class here. "A writer?" he asked, looking back at me through the mirror. "I’m a writer too. A writer and a musician." He then tells me he’s published two books and put out an album. He also goes on to talk about how hard it was for him to start writing when he was younger, in his late 20’s. But after he got older and had more world experience, he described writing "like a faucet." In short, he felt that he really found his voice.

"It’s not me when I write," he explained to me. "My voice, well… it’s not me. It’s more like my vehicle."

It’s at this point that I truly notice, for the first time, that he’s driving me to the airport in his vehicle.

He genuinely was a cool guy. Travelled an awful lot. He said that he was struggling, for the longest time, deciding between moving to Europe or moving back out to the Southwest. He loved both places, he claimed, and didn’t know what to do. He said that the last time he was in Europe, he found himself on a train… looking out at the scenery passing by, and realized… he’d miss college football too much. Decision made.

At some point, somehow, while we’re talking about immediately writing down ideas and recording thoughts, he somehow divulges that he was an abused child. It was a bit strange, to have this 40-something grungy hippie guy lay this kind of intimate information out of nowhere. But we talked through it, and some strange part of me thinks that that may have helped him, in some small way.

Before he dropped me off, he expressed his wish to return to the Southwest, and to get another job as a research engineer. He could have been a crazy loonie (who drove really well), but he also could have been some mad genius guy saving up his money, working as a cabbie. Whichever one he is, I hope he finds his way back to the Southwest soon.

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