Taxi Driver

This morning I woke up early to go to the hospital to receive my MRI scan results for my knee/leg. It has been a very long wait since the injury happened and it's been frustrating not being able to exercise properly. 

As I sat in the waiting room, eyes glazed, I felt like everything around me was moving twice as fast. I thought to myself, should I be in here for my leg or for my mental health? I was excited for this appointment because it meant I could proceed in some way or another with my injury recovery, rather than being stuck in limbo. 

Yet I was told, again, that this appointment was a mix up and I shouldn't have been there. It was a 'mistake the receptionists made'. For goodness sake, again?! But I tried to remain positive. After all, the Orthopaedic still proceeded to update me with my results and referred me to a Physio, hurrah. 

Feeling like I had achieved something for the day, I hop-skipped my way to the taxi rank to take me to the station.  There's always an awkwardness in taxis because you never know if the driver wants to talk. On this occasion, the Beatles song being played on the radio was enough to make one feel suicidal so today was the day to talk. 

Because that's all I really wanted to do.  

I smiled and greeted him with pleasantries. Discussing the weather seemed to be the best and most quintessentially British ice-breaker, and we spoke about how lucky we were to have an extra hour in bed at the end of this month. 

"What do you do for work?" he asked. 

"I'm an aspiring writer. I actually just quit my job, I was really unhappy but now I'm happy, I think." 

I noticed he looked at me in his mirror, I smiled back at him.  

 "The city is driven by money and power. As long as you can pay your bills, I'm sure you will be fine." he reassured me. 

 "Yes of course, I aspire to be an editor one day, and that will hopefully pay my bills." I chuckled. "Do you enjoy your job?"  

 "Well I've been doing this for 29 years, so I hope so!" he laughed. 

This small-talk-turned-therapy session was starting to make me feel queasy and a little uneasy. 

"At least you get to meet and speak to different  people every day, that must be nice." I said, hinting that I was really enjoying the company.  

"Yes, well, not everyone is as nice, happy and smiley as you. I do get some miserable people who do not want to talk, or who are going through different circumstances. You never know what is going on with people sometimes."

If only you knew. 

I felt my eyes well up. He has just described me as "nice, happy and smiley" yet I feel none of those things. How, from the outside, can he draw that conclusion when I'm feeling the opposite right now? Is this how I portray myself? 

I started to wonder if  he knew. We made eye contact again in the mirror as I wiped the tears from my eyes. I looked out the window. 

"I don't want to go to work today"  I cried.

 "Well, you are close to home aren't you? I won't drop you home though. You'll enjoy it once you get there."

My fare came to £6.40 and I left him with £10. I never asked his name, nor did he ask mine. But I was so grateful for that conversation.

For a 15 minute journey, I didn't feel invisible.