martes, 23 de agosto de 2016

The frustrated article writer who once was a taxi driver

I’m not a night owl at all, it was 9 pm that day and I was still at the airport after 3 hours. I had arrived at the airport and had been waiting for someone to give me a ride home as I ran out of money because I had bought something special for my mom and I started to dread the worst scenario. I had been waiting for my uncle but he never arrived. Nonetheless, I thank God for that because when I thought that everything was going to be worse, I ran into a taxi driver from whom I took in a lot after a pleasant conversation.
That taxi driver I mentioned had been a landscaper formerly, but now he was driving a taxi as a part of his retirement. I could see in his face he didn’t like that job that much but it was the way he could pay his way and support her old wife financially.

The conversation began with a remark about politics. It seemed that man was good at remembering dates and names and he surprisingly came up with a remark that really set the tone for that night. He said he wanted to write. I got surprised at that remark as it was very strange to hear such thing from a taxi driver and a former landscaper but then he continued and said: “I would like to write a book on landscaping”.
After those words, I understood what his passion was. His passion was still landscaping but it appeared he was in the wrong place behind a steering wheel. Then, I asked him why he didn’t take the little risk of leaving the steering wheel to go home and start writing but the old guy answered back to me and said he had failed as a writer several times. Other than that, he added he had somebody to support financially. I had to stray onto question why he wasn’t living with his wife but that question never had a clear answer.
Afterwards, I could realize the passion he felt towards writing when a tear came out of one of his eyes. It was a very deep sensation what I felt on looking at that tear running down his face. I wanted to wipe it, and give him a hug to feel his frustration. I wanted to feel the way he felt in that moment too. In that moment, I had already forgotten where I was, I had already forgotten I had to go to my mom’s, I had already forgotten I had been stood up by my uncle. In those seconds, the only thing that was running through my head was that horrible sensation of frustration. That feeling of not having able to succeed in something you have always wanted to succeed. I saw his face, and could notice his age. He was around 75 years and he could never be a writer, instead, I could feel deep inside he never did what he had always wanted to. I could also see that sensation of deep sadness he noticeably reflected. I finally shook his hand and tapped his right shoulder and said firmly to him: “You are still alive, so it is never too late to restart”.
Those words seemingly gave our conversation a twist and he finally invited me into his car. I got into his car but once I did it, he told he wasn’t going to take me home yet, instead, he made clear he wanted to drink some beers with me at a pub to continue the conversation. I accepted and we drove to the nearest pub then.
On arriving at the pub, he ordered some beers and the conversation went on. I firstly asked him why he had always wanted to become a writer and if there were concealed reasons stopping him from doing that. He said:
“I’m now inside a car. My thoughts have disappeared. Whenever I grab a pen to write, I can’t write as my mind goes blank. Any advice?”.
“Yes” – I said.- The only thing you need is inspiration. “Honestly, if you have the knowledge and the inspiration, the rest of the work will be done itself.”
“I would like to become an article writer, a unique article writer about landscaping. But I’m already old and my mind fails to remember inspiring words for my article. The article I’m writing now. The one I have in my pocket. That’s why you are here with me”.
Apparently, what that man really needed was a prod. A prod that could prompt him to continue his article.  He was not looking for somebody to guide him how to write. Instead, he was looking for emotion. He was looking for something different that could cause a change of heart in him. Something unique and an original remark that could make him take up what he once began.
I slowly took the piece of paper he gave me. When I started to read, I didn’t understand his manuscript so much but I could cop onto the fact that the guy who was standing in front of me at the pub was a master in what he once used to do. The lexicon in that manuscript combined with the inspiration that his words suggest was a perfect match. I gave the paper back to him. I was shocked because I didn’t understand his real reasons to feel down, to feel frustrated, feel like a cipher.
“What you needed was a prod to cheer you up. Hold your chin up. You are talented. Stop fishing for compliments. Be yourself. I didn’t understand your article so much but judging the form it is written, to me, you are a master. Keep at it.”
The old man stared at my eyes, and keeping mum for a second, he replied: “When I was a child, my family never backed me when I insisted on being a writer. Then, after 15 years I got married, I had two children. At the dinner table, we once were having dinner, I brought up this point about writing in the conversation with my children, and I didn’t feel the support from my own family either. I used to go to this very pub to hang out with my lifelong friends, we used to drink some beers and then go home but when I came up and said I wanted to be a writer, they scoffed up. I didn’t have their support either. You have been the only one who has backed me in this decision and it’s enough. Thanks. I’ll finish my article tonight”.
The man then knocked back the bottle, took his keys and said: “I knew something was going to turn my life around today. I was not wrong. I’ll drive you home”.

After all that, I could fathom something. Sometimes, you think you are not talented enough to do a certain task. When it comes to writing, even a farmer can leave you dumbfounded. You never know. This man I came across didn’t know what he owned. Instead, he did himself down. Like him, I guess there are millions writers wanting to write but they don’t dare do such thing because they think they are not gifted. Or maybe, they just have taken too much notice of people’s remarks, and for that, they’ve given up their dreams. So, don’t give up. It is never late to restart your life article. Life is like an article which can only be redacted by you. Thus, don’t ever let that opportunity slip, give it a good end.

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