in Winter's morning
the pulse, the pulse, and Nothing
or is there something...
in Spring's noon shadows
the pulse, the Pulse and nothing
or was there something...
in Summer's evenings
the Pulse, the Pulse, and nothing
or is there something...
in Autumn moonshine
the Pulse, the pulse, and nothing
or was there something...
in Winter's mourning
the pulse, the pulse, and nothing
or is there Something—?
The U Turn 01:32
...should we stop the retrospective?
you're getting bhothered. maybe.
...calling an Attorney.
No such thing. A joke, kinda.
You just want to get to the part already where we fucked...
Stan. Not U.
Ugh. Yeah, I am wondering. How and how fast did that happen.
Not fast. And it happened when the real story ends.
The real story? —this story?
It happened when I stopped riding the Taxi.
I mean when it happened, I stopped. U marked the date. ...with a Toast.
Black. No sugar. And something like a multi-vehicle motor accident.
But then you rode.
Yes. He said I had to...
Do go on.
The U Turn 01:31
It was going through some particular tunnel that it occurred to her. Or maybe it occurred to him. To be sure, it occurred to him first, whatever the inspiration point was. Well-before she had inadvertently insulted his dignity by calling him endearingly, "catfish." Forgiving her ignorance, he thought indeed behind the looking glass of the cab, she made an almost ideal pet. Sprinkle some grub, and she'd turn this way and that in thought, with minimal maintenance, much like that advertised starter variety— um, what do they call those, those showy Siamese water fighters?
Ah, yes. Excellent for every size and sort of Aquarium— the Betta fish.
A little silver in the moon, a little golden in the dawn, a little crimson lilac, depending on the time of day, how the light shone, and how he looked out or what he gave her. And sometimes she looked back with arresting frankness, as if to cooly communique you're testing me. Fish know more than they let on. Or at least, their own interpretation of the world, as it is, is kept mum. Behind eyes, behind the transparencies. She was an interested reader. He wasn't the only one trying to feed her. For reaction. Tapping on the window. Waving. The whole world might after all pass by in the taxi. Pass by.
He'd do his stunts on the road in costume, to amuse them, and see how far she could follow his finger. Siamese fighting fish are trainable like that. Even do tricks and jump through hoops, if gaining trust or making connections. Damn he'd even invent characters for her! Creativity spills over sometimes.
In a quiet moment, she'd blow bubbles in the corner. One could almost hear the tail swishing, back and forth it's called passion in actions, baby— regardless of what was said, or the silence that followed.
The U Turn 01:30
The funny and terrible thing was, they had a disagreement. A very silly disagreement, and she conceded eventually to his wisdom, though he didn't know it until a long time after, when the win was moot. They'd been riding for a while in the dark of night.
They must have spoken of fractals at some point, the beauty of the pattern repeating itself in the turbulence of the Universe, greater or smaller, but always turning in upon itself in Spiral, like a mental hug. Everything hanging in the gallery of Galaxy. He had argued, philosophically, ironically, in favor of multiplication. She countered with unification.
Neither considered division. Yet he could see she was going to be obstinate about this position. Considering the alternative, he assented that at the end of the day, one of her was "enough," considering the extreme alternative postulated. Meaning— none.
Likewise, she decided, if the Driver wanted to use the royal We, she was perfectly willing to humor him. This is who she is, that is who he is, and to be was the operative verb, wasn't it?
Yet, it was amusing to him under his hat, how she could suddenly attribute so much personal weight to what is so absurdly and observably commonplace, in the workforce, on the streets, in Nature. Everyone changes clothes, sheds skin even. But still turns in like petal upon petal, leaf upon leaf, upon the self.
At what point does the Rose, cease to be a rose? he questioned.
When the Memory dies, she answered.
The U Turn 01:29
She meant no offense whatsoever in her people watching. She wasn't typecasting, nor god forbid, casting judgement!! People are different. He appreciated the nuance as well and was a keen actor, and reactor; she knew, because to them Life was Theatre. There was no division between stage and audience. There was only Attention, as the gray area of demarcation.
When the driver introduced her to his wild girl Mimi, for example, she welcomed her in stride with acceptance and wonder. Took her card and Facebook friended her. All the while remembering sweetly how he had once, on a lazy damp night, drawn her out of the cab for some air near the Cinema. Mimi's picture was there, with stage name, and they looked together at the bright posters and flyers running also on social-media.
On a tangent, he suggested there's a difference between Film and Movies. It's difficult, and not, to discern quality, if taking a moment to assess the content. Everything comes with ad and ticket, and not everything is worth seeing to the end, though the trailer might look alright. Hm. She would dwell on that, on what makes an "imposter." Original thought in art versus mindless borrowing.
When he spoke of talking to the trees, she was wide-eyed and respectful. He had talent. She had belief. And the Taxi had great suspension. Nature was always talking to her, even in the City, and here they could listen together in a quiet respectful ride. She loved what he had told her recently, that other people's words could speak directly to, and through, in spirit. Afterall, not all borrowing is mindless.
The U Turn 01:28
Alright, so Stanley was technologically savvy and that's what—
No! no knowhow and anyhow out of character.
He said he "didn't know how."
He said he didn't know how. You didn't believe it.
I didn't. But he didn't. He wouldn't.
Even if he could, you mean. He wouldn't.
Yes. There was performance. Just not a serve. Not mass.
You're losing me.
*sigh* Not public service. Nor individual.
Then, just play?
Yes! definitely not work, in that sense.
Yes. And reception... Influx, rather than lumber towards...
So, it was "perfectly natural" when "she" surfaced!? Haha!!
Yes. Not funny though.
Sorry. You thought U was keeping in—
uh huh. He really was.
The U Turn 01:27
... About the puppet theatre, it showed up without advert or invite, at the time while the disgruntled women in the company and hire of the cab picketed in protest and finally rallied out, singing in tish-tosh-lam-sa-lee-dandy-carey-free-us-abroad fashion. Citing mental health reasons. This was awhile back. In any case, someone must have rifled through her things, online, looking for personal clues or incriminating artistic evidence, and having found some visuals (of her creations, not portraits) had put together a website.
A sort of facade into which dimension could be breathed, or not, and it would die a natural death. It existed as a beacon. In the distance, not reachable, but reconstructable. She was awestruck. That sort of thing takes time. Someone had made extra effort, but why? Very supportive, she wrote in her darling email messages; and played it cool, expecting no response, because it had after all been designed as "gift" from the Anonymous.
Someone else might be aghast at the appropriation of material, and question Motive. She did not. He did it with heart. She believed. And it must be a he, because only a sister would expend herself to a girl like that, unnecessarily, and that not granted, either. No, he wanted to show her how easy it was, work aside: 1) to set the stage 2) to put yourself out there 3) and to do it herself.
She was thoroughly charmed! What he didn't know was that she'd done it herself for years. She knew the burn out of the relentless effort and the poverty of it, despite the satisfactions. She regretted deeply that she could not make it work.
The taxi driver pulled his cap tighter over his forehead and thought about it. He didn't like this back and forth from various forms of drudgery, and tapped his finger on the steering wheel thinking about the elusive benefits of self-employ.
The U Turn 01:26
I finished the book late last night.
—when is it going to be published?!
Funny. Your other book.
...sorry took longer than i intended.
I felt it should be read immersively. Emersively.
In one sitting?
Two or three tops.
And you took it in in snippets?
Still I could appreciate the way the pacing accelerated.
Processing. I've always said i was slow. At this point all I'll add only that the motif of spirals has struck the inner eye as a continuing visual.
The U Turn 01:25
Name dropping? Really.
Mmm... i thought U might like to know, which stuck, out.
But schizoid? and where are the women!?
yes, they were there... and no not the same, that is NOT what I said.
How did that even come up?
What?! And is—
...no, a ruse.
Something like that.
Ohh. Then, not really.
Right. Holding on in rearview. Driving away.
Hah. Like we all want to.
The U Turn 01:24
She knew his presence oddly enough soon after the first play-listening. And that was a very, very long time ago—modernly speaking. But even before, she had registered a change in personality or character, an almost two-facedness, about his persona. Like when she'd hop into the cab on off hours or weekends.
He'd have his usual cap and masked express, but no emotional response. The cool stand-in, Thank Ye Ma'am, nod and tip of the hat, Good-day! and that was that—where usually, there was this battle-scarred heart heat emanating from behind the partition screen. Enough to make a little lady flush down to her all-American Eagle anklets. Not that anybody was flushing. Just, you-know, it was different.
She worried that maybe he was schizophrenic? She'd come to know a handful of regular names in the company, even by nickname. There was Ethan, William, Andrew, Zachary, Daniel, waving and, and, what the fUck was his name?? That one, that was doing most of the driving? Sigh. Anyway, sometimes, he'd taken in multiple passengers to bewilder and confound her into share-time. And so, they chatted.
It was soon after that some web gimmicks played out late one otherwise unsuspecting dull evening. Right on her laptop, as if in a little puppet theatre.