Meg has an interesting ride back to her home
|“So you live in New Jersey?” the taxi driver inquired, looking at me as we were stopped at a traffic light.
“Yeah,” I answered, not knowing and not feeling like saying anything else.
“But you’re not from there, are ya?” he asked as he laughed at my obvious Midwestern accent.
“No, I moved there from Iowa about two years ago,” I replied, remembering that it had already been two years since I had stepped on Iowa soil, “I really miss it.”
I couldn’t believe that I was opening myself up to a taxi driver and I felt a little pathetic that it was making me feel better. However, I didn’t know anyone else in New York who I could talk to. I certainly wasn’t the most popular at work; I was always too busy with something so I never could go to any office parties or get-togethers. I know that I’m anti-social, but I certainly never knew that it would have bothered me to not be able to talk to anyone about my problems. Honestly, before I met John I didn’t really have any problems. Heck, I was doing pretty well in my life. Well, except for the fact that I was single and really didn’t like my job that well. I never wanted to be a journalist; I have always wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, I never had enough gull to bring any of my work to an agent, nor did I want to risk the chance of realizing that I was horrible at writing. I don’t think I could handle that big of a blow.
“Everyone gets homesick once in awhile,” the taxi driver sympathized as he weaved the car in and out of traffic, “but you’re lucky to have such a good cousin.”
I let out a chuckle as I thought about how bad of a cousin mine had been that morning. Obviously the taxi driver heard my chuckle because he turned around and looked at me. I noticed that his hair was graying and he was beginning to get lines around his mouth. I guessed that he was about fifty years old, maybe a little older. By his accent I could tell that he had lived in New York for awhile.
“You okay back there,” he asked as he turned his head back towards the street.
“Yeah,” I answered as I rested my head against the back of my seat, “What’s your name?”
I have absolutely no idea why I asked the man his name because I obviously didn’t care.
“Mike,” he answered, sort of startled, “What’s your name?”
“Meg,” I said as I kept looking up at the ceiling of the car, “and I don’t think I’m homesick, Mike. In order to be homesick, a person has to want to go back to their home. I don’t want to go back to my home, Mike. I want to go back to Iowa. I just miss the simplicity of Iowa, you know? There’s so much less to worry about and so many less people to judge you and criticize you. Have you ever been to Iowa, Mike?”
I was getting pretty heated up at that point and I could tell Mike was quite confused on what to think of me. What I had just told Mike was the most I had ever told anyone. In fact, it was probably the most I had spoken since I had left Iowa. I was unsure of how much more I would tell Mike on this taxi ride. Fortunately for me, and probably for the baffled Mike, we reached my duplex shortly after my rant.
Mike pulled the taxi over to the curb in front of my duplex and I gazed out at the wonderful sight of it. I never really like the location of the duplex, but it was far enough away from the city that I could almost forget about John.
Mike stopped the taxi and turned back towards me, he had a goofy smile on his face. I looked at him strangely for a second, smiled back, and opened the door.
“So,” he began as I was getting out of the taxi, “are you single?”
I must have looked as though someone just told me the most shocking and disturbing secret in the entire world. Mike looked at me and winked, reminding me instantly of my cousin and then John. I don’t know what I was more disgusted about, Mike hitting on me or that fact that I still had John on my mind.
“No,” I replied as I tilt my head and smiled, “I’m actually in a pretty serious relationship with your grandson, sorry.”
I slammed the door and walked up to my duplex. I didn’t look back at Mike, but he didn’t say anything and I heard his taxi pull away a few moments later.
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