A Uniform Love in a (young n' old) Man
It's rare to get a Zone 3 call all the way downtown... a challenge I guess and man, did I rise to it. I raced up Bay to Bagot, raced down Bagot barely slowing at the single stop sign, the reason Bagot has become my chosen route for running "up". Up Bagot to it's end at Russell, left n' right onto Montreal then playing the angle on Railway over to Division... (man what a wonderful freewheelin' time of day to be driving)... If it weren't for a Wonderbread Truck, I may have alone risked a ticket... I was able to pass the truck where Division widens out to two lanes just passed the Police Station... A timely Wonderbread cover I guess... caught a green at Counter and the No Frills intersection. Swung right onto Benson and was at the Day's Inn door in, by no stretch of the imagination... four minutes... flat... out to the Inn.
I picked up a kid in uniform, RMC Cadet; first yearlings are forced to wear their uniforms out n' about town at all times... a tradition this kid respected. He was an extremely respectful kid, and I would hope so seeing how these RMC kids are the future brass, our future Military leaders who at some point a ways off in the future may be called upon to... You get it. Someday I'll run through my ranking of the kids who attend Kingston's three institutions of higher n' then much higher learning... This kid ranked right up there.
...for all intents and purposes he was AWOL, out past curfew, he had a more than good enough reason seeing how he'd invited his gal down from Quebec for the Ball. He hadn't seen her for months. I assured him that there'd likely been well more than a million military men before him who'd risked the wrath of a superior in order to spend the night in a superior situation; he certainly sounded much in love with this young lady and told me of her with as much respect as he was showing and told me that he had of the uniform he was meant to and made to wear each time he went out in about town in his first year at RMC. I dropped him off with a suggestion that, rather than sneak back in, he should confront his superior later that morning with an explanation of his situation surrounding curfew. He told me that this what he had intended all along... "...good, now GET IN there." I said with a smile.
The very next call had me plucking a young lady wearing a gown with Queen's University Engineering Jacket draped over her shoulders, straight out of the clutches of another young military man, most likely out of uniform, in the adjacent dorm. She'd had a grand time at the Ball after all... The kids n' the other cabbies choose to call this "the Sunday morning walk of shame". Me, I've decided I'll call it "the walk of infinite n' pleasant possibilities." – I mean, it's another beautifully gorgeous Sunday morning. The sun's shining and this young lady beside me is smiling all the way through or drive back into the city... Why cheapen a moment, I thought for the moment, she was with another good uniformed young man... and smiling.
...quite a bit earlier that morning, mixed in with all the ruckus of these kids having a ball, I'd pick up an old fella at Emergency Ward at the Hospital. A frail old fella who looked lost and bewildered as I drove him home in the dark to his lovely old home over on William. Are you alright? He was doing OK, he'd been in with his wife all night... I stayed by his driveway for a few extra minutes before...
I picked up a couple more couples who looked ready to spend a nice next day together then another guy and a gal who'd called two cabs to go their separate ways... A girl in a hurry to get from the Holiday Inn to what I figured was her own place up on Johnson. She was adamant about being in this hurry... I hit every light right and asked her "...was that fast enough enough for you?" as she stepped out of the CAR with a smile and said... that it was OK.
...a bit later that day I got a call, a pick up on William, "...have I been in your cab once before?" I told the old fella, a sweet old former professor that I'd drove him home from the Emergency Ward earlier that morning. He looked a little more rested, but still rather bewildered; his wife had had a few falls over the last week and this time wasn't able to get up. I asked him if he had been able to get a little sleep, he rambled a bit about this, that, and anything but how his wife might now be doing. He needed a bit of extra help to get out of the CAR. I waited as he walked very slowly around it and held to Emergency Door open, literally shooing him inside with "GET IN there ol' fella!" as if to lighten his moment waving gesture to emphasis... KEEP it MOVING. He and this busy little morning did keep it moving at points even hopping and racing. Indeed... what a ball... all this balling after all.