Like Travis, a young man in the prime of his life.
July 6, 2008
July 6, 2008 – The Awakening
I had an epiphany, and awakening if you will…
A movie, one that I’d seen long ago, but recently rediscovered. A landmark film to say the least. “Taxi Driver” was it’s title. For those of you who haven’t seen this, please do, you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of Martin Scorsese’s earliest films.
It wasn’t until I started driving a taxi that I realized how spot on the depictions of taxi life were. Truth be told, there are many differences in driving a taxi in New York as there are here in San Diego, but there are quite a few similarities as well. There will be no prostitutes, stalking, or murders.
For example, Travis (Robert Dinero’s character) becomes quickly immersed in the job, rapidly becoming disconnected from his family, and later reality. I found my conversations becoming more and more infrequent, and were often times about the job, and seemed to be centered on the day to day operations of the business. I justified things with my income. It quickly became an obsession. Day after day, long hours, and great money. It was never enough. I would work 10, 12, sometimes 18 hour days.
In the movie you never are able to see the other side of the equation – Travis’s parents, and how they viewed the life he had made for himself. My parents, well, they were supportive, but disappointed that I hadn’t applied myself more in life, in a career if you will. Seconds turned into minutes, into hours, into days, into weeks, into months, and now into over a years time with the company.
I find myself on the outside, looking in at the world. Becoming bitter, despondent, resentful toward the company and their practices – which are often selfish at best. Disgusted with the owner and her thievery, naïveté, micromanagement of my work.
I don’t have the time, or inclination, to be a part of social events, to be amicable, or even upbeat about work here anymore. I have neglected relationships, and even burned a few bridges, as a result from my growing defeatist attitude.
What have I gained? Well I’ve gained plenty I suppose. I have made friends, with honest, down to earth people. Friendships that will hopefully continue when, and if, I decide to part ways with the company. I’ve had conversations with people from all over the world, talked about endless topics. Talked with people from different backgrounds, professions, races, and social strata. I’ve gained stories, experiences, and in some cases hard lessons, that I have learned from and made me stronger.
But as for now, I remain, a taxi driver.