Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Diametrics Of Eros
The spiritual fabric of reality reveals its connections more succinctly to an observant cab driver than most other jobs outside of the investigative realm. Some night’s follow themes developed by archetypal stories that unfold through the lives and actions of fares. Last Friday night’s theme was “LOVE”. When I attended Bible college, during the mid 1970’s, one of my favorite topics to exegete and parse in the original Greek language was the English word “LOVE”. The highest and purest form of love was “agape”, which is the pure unconditional love of God, the kind that Jesus had, when he died on the cross to save mankind form its sins. On the other end of the love spectrum was “eros”, or erotic love, also translated as lust. Then there were “storge”, translated as familial love, and “phileo”, meaning brotherly love. Friday night I saw two incarnations of eros, that painted a pair of diametrically different pictures.
The first took place at around 7:00 PM, when a couple, who appeared to be in their late fifties, called for a cab at one of Salem’s finest Italian restaurants, where a bill for one to two hundred dollars, including wine and cocktails, is normal. On the drive to their home, where they had lived together for the past 36 years, they told me that they were just married. After 36 years of co-habitation they decided that it was time to finally legally get married. I didn’t ask why, but they told me that there were two reasons why they chose January 8 as the day for officially tying the knot. Their very first date was on January 8 and secondly it was Elvis Presley’s birthday. That way, they could wear Hawaiian shirts and play Blue Hawaii every year on their anniversary. They stopped at the store on the way to buy two bottles of champagne, one for tonight and one for brunch tomorrow morning. They were very romantic, and kissed and hugged periodically, while they continued to converse with me, until we arrived at their home. The woman paid the $17.00 bill and gave me a $5.00 tip.
The rest of the night was slow, and I knew that unless I copped a big fare, my take home would be low. With three other cab companies competing with us, the pie was getting sliced thinner every month. Then just after midnight I got a call for the west end of West Salem. It was a 37 year old brunette dressed in tight fitting sweat pants and an equally tight fitting tee shirt, that both showed off her hour glass figure. When she got in the cab she asked me –
“If I give you $100.00 will you wait for me outside West Side Station bar, with your meter running, until I come out, whether it’s five minutes or two hours?”
“Sure,” I told her, and she handed me a C-note.
On the way to the bar, she told me that her husband left her three months earlier, and this is the first time that she was getting out, since then. She said that she was hoping that her ex-husband would come by once in a while, but he never returned once. She spent New Year”s Eve putting together a thousand piece puzzle. She wanted to see if she could find somebody to take home with her for the night, but was nervous, which is why she hired me. When we arrived, she asked me how she looked, so I turned on the light, and saw her perfectly coiffeured hair and lightly made up angelic face. I told her that she could attract anyone from 21 to 70 years old. She said that she was only interested in the range from her age to about fifty. As she left the cab she wanted assurance that I would be waiting for her.
“Yes’ I told her. It was 12:45 AM, when she went into the bar. I sat in my cab with the meter running, while I was reading “East Of Eden”, by John Steinbeck, about Kate, Adam Trask’s murdering prostitute wife. A couple of guys tried to hire me to take them to “Stars” the strip bar on the east side, but I told them that I was hired with the meter running, so I called them another cab.
Around 2:15 AM, my passenger opened my back door and got in with a man who appeared to be in his thirties. She wanted to go to a store to get some Corona beer, so I pulled into the Plaid Pantry on Edgewater. The guy seemed to be a nice polite person, and she seemed to be happy with him, as they kissed and fondled each other as I drove them back to her house. She talked about her teenage son, and the guy asked questions about him by name. When we arrived, the meter was at $66.00, and as they exited the cab, she told me to keep the change.
“Thanks,” I told her, as she and her new boyfriend walked towards the door with their arms around each other.