Fake Records

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I flag the cab, toss my suitcase in the trunk and slide into the back seat behind the driver.

This is not a short cab ride. It promises to be a twenty-five dollar affair with a route that will span the hypotenuse of the island, from the East Village to West Harlem. Assuming there are no traffic snarls at 9:30 on a Friday morning, the trip should take about thirty minutes. Once settled, I immediately notice that the cabbie has Sirius satellite radio and is tuned in to Howard Stern. This is promising. The worst part of not going to work is missing my morning dose of Howard. Spirits lifted, I engage the cab driver in discussion. He is a wiry, Eastern-European man withabout three days of facial stubble. He appears to be in his sixties.

Cabbie (in thick accent -- think Borat): Did you listen to show this morning?

Me: No, I actually only have a satellite receiver at work. What did I miss?

Cabbie: There were two girls on show. (Puts hands to lips and makes kissing motion) Perfect. They ride sex toy. If you listen, you jerk off twice in pant like me.

Me: (to him): Erm. That sounds nice.

Me (to me): I can't believe I'm going to have to touch this man's hand to pay him. Maybe I can just throw some cash through that little space in the plexiglass.

As the cab zips uptown, the conversation subsides and we share some laughter courtesy of Robin's news reports, augmented by Fred's expert use of sound effects.

Howard goes to commercial break and my new friend sees this as an opportunity to resume talks.

Cabbie: How old are you?

Me: 26

Cabbie: Do you have wife or girlfriend?

Me: No no, I'm single.

Cabbie: How many times in one month do you get girl?

Me (slightly taken aback, but given our earlier talks, not wholly surprised): Well actually, I'm pretty busy with work and stuff. I dunno, maybe a couple times a month?

Cabbie (still driving but turning completely around in his seat so as to make direct eye contact with me): Please sir. Do me favor and give me your penis. You are wasting 26 year old penis. I fuck my wife more this morning than you fuck girl in one year.

Me (to cabbie):

Me (to me): I'm not entirely certain, but I think I was just emasculated by a semen-coated, grizzled Russian cab-driver who is older than my dad.

Cabbie: If you really need fuck, just drive up to Spanish Harlem and buy these girls some dinner and boom.

Me: Well, ummm, thank you sir. I will take that under advisement.

Apparently not satisfied with my response, the man continues to tell me about how much sex he has with his wife. He has been married for 35 years. He refers to her as "the most beautiful woman in the world." He reaches up to his visor which is bulging with tattered notes and dog-eared pictures and produces a picture of a woman. She has a round-face, dyed brown hair, huge brown eyes and a broad smile that challenges the width of her face. On her knee is a toddler, presumably a grandchild. There is also a kid on her right and one her left. They are probably around eight.

As I study the photo, he informs me that although he left his wife three hours earlier, he misses her terribly. The highlight of the day is dinner with her. He repeatedly mentions how lucky he is to have a job that he enjoys and a wife and family that he adores.

For the remainder of the day, the image of my new, perverted friend dominates my thoughts. I guarantee that this man, like anyone who inhabits the world for a significant time period, has had his share of problems, tragedies and misfortunes. But, for our brief time together, he does not focus on the anxieties and daily hangups that checker one's existence. Instead, he chooses to regale a complete stranger with the joys of his sex life (both with himself and others), his work, and his home environs. I am envious of him and his perceptions.