I listened to the lazy sounding 1930s music as it rang out, carefree on the radio. You know, the one where the clarinet solos throughout, and the piano clunks the solid 4/4 rhythm with spurts of high, tinkling 64th notes scaling chromatic riffs. The drums use brush sticks and you can still hear the static from the record needle. It’s the kind of music that would play if you were going to swing on a rope in slow motion, from a tree into the muddy, cool waters of the local creek. Only today, I wasn't giggling and drinking lemonade in the sunshine, I was clenching my knees with white knuckles, gasping with fear, and squeezing my eyes shut.
As the taxi drove down Flatbush Avenue, I felt as though I was on a runaway roller coaster trying to dodge small children and large oak trees. The driver shot in and out of the two-lane street, honking at pedestrians, merging lanes, and running lights. He was strangely at ease as he drove however, unlike me who is used to somewhat driving the speed limit and using my blinker before I abruptly cut someone off. To the naked eye, he drove like a careless maniac, but I began to see that he maneuvered with calculated accuracy and precision, the master of his domain. His experience made him an expert.
I watched with wide eyes as we zoomed past the hundreds of people swarming the area. Monstrous buses pushed cars out of their way. Pedestrians flooded the crosswalk long after the “do not walk” signal flashed. I focused on the contrast of the lazy, calm, and comforting music and the crowded, fast paced world outside my window and thought what an excellent sound track that would make for a movie. And although instinct caused me to fear for my life, I knew we would arrive safely to our destination. But there is nothing like a ride in a New York City death cab to make you feel so alive!