The Funeral
Tuesday March 01st 2011, 10:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

During a vague moment of a fitful sleep
Roundabout 5 in the morning
Somebody said something to me
I don’t know what it was
But it triggered a memory
Of driving through beautiful countryside in an open top sportscar
Although I have an open top sportscar
This was a different one
It was a drenching feeling of a door opening to a parallel life
That seemed to pulse excitingly through me
Though I was dreaming I was still thinking objectively
And brief moments occured when I thought for a moment
That I really did own two sportscars
But had somehow been brainwashed by something
This made me concentrate on where this car might be
Then suddenly “Portsmouth” sprang to mind
Of course I knew then it wasn’t from this reality
But distractingly I promptly appeared on a grassy island in broad daylight
Ooo…I was in vivid world
I walked down a winding path to a coast littered with brightly coloured fishing boats
A stunning sight appeared around the hill
The waterway in front of me was a river
And on the other side loomed a massive city
Constructed almost entirely out of what looked like railway sleepers
A number of massive structures defied building integrity
Overhanging the river with no visible support
It was a menacing sight
Sometimes it is good to know some general geography
Especially now
I figured I was standing on Gosport
After crossing a bridge I made my way to my apartment…apparently
The door was open
On the bed was a pair of my jeans
I plucked a gold credit card from the back pocket
And startled myself with another wave of familiar memory
I remembered using this card many times
How odd
I moved to the window
And traced my hand across the glassless window space
Along the cold soft railway sleepers
A door slammed and pulled me straight back to planet earth

My legs and arms were really heavy
Like when you are physically depressed and can’t summon anything
Inability to think what I was doing
And dropping things also seemed to be normal
As I fumbled my way around the kitchen trying to eat some breakfast
What the hell is matter with me?

Still unable to think straight
I slid into the cab
First job of the day was to collect a student from Gatwick
The first obstacle was the office door
Nobody would answer it
Maybe it was broken
Just about to switch to phone mode and the door opened
I collected the paperwork
Unfolding it on the cab to glean the details
I squinted at the landing time
The landing time was 10 minutes ago
It was even written this way on the sheet

After 10 minutes of standing around in the North Terminal
The student appeared
He was an Iranian flying in from Dubai
He practised his English on me… most of the way to Brighton
Telling me he was a semi pro footballer in Iran
An attacking midfielder who could shoot equally well with both feet
He wanted to take a trial with an English club
His favourite club was….surprise surprise
Man Utd

A job came through the moment I let him out
It was a No.23
I took a sigh and set off

Two men got in
They stunk of ‘all night’
And were odd with me
The one in the front directed me the long way straight away
Half way along I cut it short by making a turn
I drove over the bridge of the suicide cabby
Looking at the flowers on the railing as I passed
The guy in the front told me turn the meter off and call it £6
That was ridiculous…I said no
He said he was only going to pay me a fiver anyway

Now…the situation is this
Firstly was he kidding?
If he was… then trying to kick him out would be a silly escapade
If he was not kidding
Then kicking them out would be a tad dangerous
At this time in the morning
There was nobody around
They could kick up a fuss and cause me numerous problems

Twice more he said he was going to give me a fiver
Again and again he disagreed with the route I was taking
I pulled over at the destination
Fare was £13
He`gave me a fiver
And they walked off

I was boiling inside
I fucking hate these cunts
Shooting him in a lawless world would be a pleasure
And I sincerely mean that
For over an hour I thought of ways to get my own back
But everything I thought of had possible comebacks to make it not worth the trouble
For fuck sake
If this was the yardstick
Why does anybody pay for taxis?
There was nothing I could do
The police won’t help in these situations
I could press the emergency button on the data unit
And a load of cabbies would turn up
But how do we legally extract a fare?
The sum total would be a net loss of even more money
Wasted poncing around arguing
The only thing that actually changed this time
Was that I blacklisted the address
But that is also rubbish
It probably wasn’t their address

The whole dirty crackling energy of that situation
Followed me around for hours
Sticking to me
Like a drying mudpack

At midday I pulled up at the rank
Next to “Dead Man’s Cab”
I asked Alain if he had gone to the funeral
Still with a mocking look on my face
As if I didn’t believe a word of it
He said yes
And then rolled off a whole load of detail

He was 47 when he died last week
A university graduate from back in the old days
Had lived and worked in Paris
Was a member of the Communist Party
He had four daughters to the woman who had thrown him out
And one older son from an earlier relationship
The son was the most upset
The eldest daughter…dolled up
The least disturbed
As they stood and listened to the non christian recital of his life

He had spent his last days living in his car
Which was found near to where he had jumped
He landed on the bypass badly injuring himself
Was hit by a car
And died 3 days later