Storytime: Best Taxi Ride I Ever Had
It was three in the morning, September 21st, 2018. I was in Cork, Ireland. I had just finished a long, vocal cord shredding night of street performing. It's a blast performing all night in this city because around 2am in Cork, most of the pubs close but most people were still awake. And still drunk. And still looking to party. This is when Oliver Plunkett street comes to life. On this night, I played at my “usual” spot across the street from the post for groups of thirty or more. They were screaming the lyrics of whatever song I was playing, whether they knew the words or not. With all that liquid confidence they could look me right in the eyes singing the wrong words without missing a beat. This was my favorite pass time when I lived in Cork, Ireland in 2015 for a semester abroad. And this early morning September street concert filled me with nostalgia. I closed my eyes and was simultaneously in the past and present. Drifting back and forth through time seamlessly. Then, after a while, I got tired and they got too drunk so I packed up and left. As I walked down the street away from the late night mob, I suddenly realized I had missed the last bus to get back to the house I was supposed sleep in. It was in the next town over and I had no idea how to get back. Also in this moment my phone died. Now I had missed the bus, had no idea how to get back, and had no address. After about thirty minutes of trying to figure out what to do, I see a Cork city taxi. So I wave my hand and he pulls up. I tell him which town I’m supposed to be in and he agrees to take me there. When he asks for the address I tell him it was written in my phone which is now dead, I say “I don’t know the address but if you take me to the town center I think I’ll know where to go from there.” and off we went. It was a twenty minute ride, so we got to talking. He saw I had a guitar when I got in the cab and half way through our ride he says “How ‘bout a tune then, boy?”. So I pull my guitar into my lap and start singing in the backseat of this taxi. He was elated. He would scream, yell, and whistle while I played. In reality, there should have only been enough time to play one song but when we got to the city center, I really didn’t know where to go. I offered to just get out and walk so he could get back to work but he said “No bother, boy! I won’t leave ya out here. I’ll help you find your way! Just keep playing!”. Our twenty minute ride turned into about an hour of singing and U-turns. I can’t imagine what it must have looked like outside of our car. A driver cheering and screaming with a musician playing a concert in the back seat at about four in the morning. Up the road, U-turn, back down the road, U-turn. Finally, I looked out the window and yelled “Stop! I think that’s it!”. He pulled up to the curb, and there was the house. Somehow, someway, we found it. He told me that was the best ride he ever had, gave me a discount and said good luck. I said the feelings are mutual then walked into the house and dropped into bed. THAT was the best cab ride I ever had.