I walk up to one of the ten or so taxis lined up on the street waiting to chauffer drunk brats home from their night of un-supervised sin. Who knows, maybe some of them will be drunk enough to leave a decent tip. Doubtful. I sink into the back of the cab and lean against the window while I tell the extremely foreign driver where I’m headed—where home is. He turns out onto the street and almost runs over two blonds who have drunkenly stumbled out of the club, most likely for a cigarette. I suppose they’ll find one in the street somewhere. One of them puts both her hands on the hood of the cab and looks directly into the eyes of the driver and then with that teenaged Pfffst spitting sound, bursts out laughing. The other yells out “Pak attack! It’s a 7/11 samosa Jihad!” I lean forward:
“Feel free to run over them. I promise I’ll tell the cops that it wasn’t you.” The driver turns and looks at me smiling. I’m not sure if he totally understood me, or them, but at least I attempted to make a sort of connection. He drives past the two date rape statistics toward my home across the bridge.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Vancouver flooding entirely in this weather. The little yellow taxi puttarup-pupping across the large concrete bridge, then suddenly out of nowhere, the bridge supports disintegrate with the throb of the surging water and the bridge would crumble into the marina. The Israeli taxi driver would be crushed in the fall, his arm extended and broken in the berserk spinning of the steering wheel. The early model Chrysler wouldn’t have airbags, but the impact with the jaundiced waters below will be surprisingly sympathetic. I’d stare at the darkening window as the taxi sinks into the deep pollution—bubbles peppering the cab’s windshield with yellow light and, because I’d be so relaxed, I wouldn’t claw at the door handle or try to break out. Nah, not tonight. Instead I’d unbuckle my seat belt and close my eyes, the city above me swelling with tepid torrents of rain. A state of emergency, a province in despair. F list Celebrities will lend their names to the cause, and evil companies will send money to the “Repair Vancouver” fund. In time my name would appear on a memorial sculpture in the downtown of the diminished city, the cab driver’s of course would not. That would be something to write about for sure. I look at the driver as I consider his character for a novel and he glances at me in the mirror, unnerved.