The bike accident (from my book my adventurous,wonderful life)


TURN YOUR FACE TO THE SUN AND THE SHADOW FALLS BEHIND YOU- Maori Proverb

I finally decided to write my book today because it’s Frebruary the 29th…I thought that if i died today they’ll celebrate my anniversary once every four years.
                              CHAPTER ONE
Hey Dude, can you pick me up at the Memorial Hospital?

What happened..are you ok?

I’m ok…how long?

about twenty minutes…you mean the one on Hollywood Boulevard?

C’mon Dude…do you know of any other Memorial Hospital in Hollywood?

No…

Dude…. wake up and smell the coffee…are you a cab driver or not?

Oh…sorry dude…I’ll get there in a flash..

I have a hard time remembering the Dude’s name. We all called him Dude because he used to put that word on his sentences as if it was a comma…so to everyone he was the “Dude”.

All the cab drivers in Broward County knew who he was, and kept away from him. He was a boat’s capitain, an helicopter’s pilot, a champion surfer… a perfect compulsive liar.
He just couldn’ help lying on anything…it was so obvious and imbarassing, but he wasn’t a bad person he had a hart and that was very hard to find in 1997 driving a taxi in Fort Lauderdale.
I “picked him up” from Hollywood Beach one day, almost wasted from the various joints he had smoked even if it was before lunch.. he was going to get busted soon or later by selling bags of pot on the beach so i told him he could drive a cab and make an honest living.

He accepted and I spoke to Mike, our supervisor. He got a cab a week later and I had a “Dude” living with me.

The good part was that I was never at home. I was living at 1536 Fletcher street at that time and the year was 1997. The neighbour was friendly and safe back then and  the rent was only 280 a month.

I was single, happily single in a region that had more girls willing to give it away than palms,so i wasn’t even thinking about getting married,start a family and such.
Before the Dude moved in with me I was living only with the “Girl” a 12 year old black Labrador that I adopted from my landlady when she decided to get her 12 year old son a “new dog because that one was blind”. I’ll talk about the “Girl” later though.
What happened Dude?
I fell from my bike and broke my arm
Where?
Near Pier 21 in Port Everglades… I went over the railroad tracks and the front wheel got stuck in the rail..flipping me airborne..when  I landed on top of my hand I felt the pain, someone took me to the hospital an here I am.
Holy Shit..that must have hurt.
Still does..can you take me home now?
Sure…but   how are you going todrive a cab now?
Good question Dude  good question…I’ll think about that tomorrow  now i just want to get some sleep.

I let my thoughts wandering about as we were driving South on US1 as i was unusually seated in the passenger’s seat of a taxi.
Ten years…i thought…ten years I have been driving a cab…how many people..
It was like going to the movies for me, getting behind the wheel early in the morning,trying to catch longer rides to MIA the airport in Miami. I was eager to see what kind of “Humanity” would have show in my back seat.
Most of my passengers talked about their problems to me as if I was some kind of priest listening to their confessions. They knew chances to see me again were slim, so they opened up and talked, asked, cried, laughed,offered grass, cocaine or sex in exchange for a ride..
(continues…)

The “Dude” (From my book my adventurous, wonderful life)


Chapter One

Continuation…
.

I wasn’t considering myself a new Mother Theresa or a Ghandi but if my word could make a passenger feel better..i never backed off.

I rolled the window down all the way.

South Florida evenings…i thought. that warm wind blowing inside, sucking the air conditioning out of the Dude’s cab like a straw.. I enjoyed the temperature in the late evening as I did at night, driving with my windows down.
The Dude was addicted to the air conditioning.

What are you doing man?
You know that i don’t like the ac Dude…it makes me sick…it makes you sick too..
can’t we just enjoy tthe breeze for awhile?
Ok man sice you broke your arm i’ll forgive you.
Dude, look at the finger of my broken arm…can you read between the lines?
Ahahah..

We reached Fletcher Street and turned left from US1 just before the Hollywood Dog Track.
Our apt was just two block east and was quiet as usual.
Irwin parked the Chevy on the grass and we went inside greeted by the Girl who was laying in the front door as usual waiting for my return as a good friend.

Just before i fell from the bike, I was meditating on my life as a cabdriver and the outcome wasn’t that good.
I was still single at the age of 41, I only had about 5 thousand dollars saved up for the rainy days  and i didn’t know where my life was taking me , as if it was a small sail-boat adrifted in a tropical storm.
No. I wasn’t happy. I needed a change.
As this thought entered my mind I found myself flying and falling abruptly on the concrete smashing my arm and hand under my 180 pounds.
The pain was terrible.

Now, when i think back of that day I see it as if the destiny had set up a date for my ass.
I complained about my status and my conditions and I fell from my bike as if a Giant’s Hand had decided to take control over my ragged life and give it a twist.
Not only one twist though but three…in the same day.

As i reached home, the Landlady rang my bell

Hi pio

Hi Marylin what’s new?

Hey…!! What happened to your arm? (i told her the whole story)

Oh I’m so sorry. I have one bad news for you.

Hit me!

You going to have to leave the apartment in a month…i sold the house.

Oh great…no problem..i’ll manage…
The third blow came over the phone.

This is the yellow cab company..is Pio in?

Speaking.

We found out what was wrong with the cab you brought in today…

And…?

You Blew the engine…so either you come up with 2500$ or you are out?

2500$? I blew the engine? what are you talking about? Let me speak to Mike the supervisor.

Mike?

Yes?

Is this some kind of a joke?

No Pio it’s all true and there is nothing I can do about…either you pay or you’re out…

But..Mike…I..

Goodbye I got to go.

I hung up and crashed on the bed.
That was my really lucky day  I thought… the bike accident.Lost the apt.Lost my job.
All in the same day.
I looked at the ceiling fan rotating over my head,trying to see a clear solution out of this mess while the Dude was nervously going back and forth from the chitcken to the bedroom smoking a joint and complaining loudly about the fact that we had to look for a new place.
I hit the “pause” button on him. So he was talking and talking but I wasn’t really listening at all, trying to see clear trough that mess I wasn’t helped either by his talking,neither from the pain biting my arm now that the painkiller they gave me at the hospital was losing its effect.

I saw the Dude coming towards me talking but it was like on the TV when you press the “mute” I wasn’t hearing a word he was saying but I saw the hand with the joint coming my way

No..no  Dude.You know I don’t smoke when I have to drive you know…

Well you ain’t driving Pio are you?

You are right Dude.

So I took a couple of hits from the sweet grass and fell back on my back. Ten  minutes later, after i took the second paikiller for the day I fell asleep like a baby.