busting for a taxi

It’s not often that I take to pissing in train station shelters in broad daylight.

I’ve held onto my functions while drunker fools have micturated on the streets of Edinburgh and silently derided fellow band members for siphoning their own members in touring Toragos while vainly priding myself on the power of my bladder defying mantras.

Not so today.

I could also test your patience by trying to explain the cascading sequence of ludicrous events, missteps and metro tele-centre ‘conversations’  that led to my being stranded for three hours at a remote rural train station to the east of Melbourne during a torrential downpour while enroute to an even remoter town of Bega in New South Wales some 500 miles away.

But I resist.

Or, I could confer the humbling life story of Tony my taxi driver who, when unbelievably abandoned by his parents and siblings at the age of fourteen, managed to couch surf and school himself until he was old enough to gain refuge and direction in the army and rebuilt his whole life, one piece at a time.

Now in his 50’s, and a proud father of five children and two grandchildren, he never saw his late father again, nor to this day has his mother or younger siblings reached out to him since disappearing, without even a note, from his life, on a Friday, while he was at school some thirty six years past.

Tony and I had some time to chat about such triumphs and tragedies after he rescued me from that drenched and lonely station and drove me to my connecting coach service in the town of Orbost … three hundred kilometres away.

The cab charge was $515.40 with a $2.10 flag fall but after what Tony shared with me on that rainy drive, you’d be happy to pay double for such a compelling and life affirming story of endurance under untold duress and sadness.

Maybe more on Tony later.

How about I mention that I was met with verbal abuse and derision by my fellow coach passengers who were inconvenienced by my misfortune and the mis-communiques of the transit services to the tune of 90 minutes. One passenger went so far as to accuse me of “making” him miss a meeting and bookended his spleen laden accusation with the sarcastic back hander “I hope you are proud of yourself”! Nice.

The bus driver managed to keep some of his cool, but after the near mutiny he had on his hands, was happy to pass the mantle of Bounty or Batavia scoundrel squarely onto my scrawny shoulders by means of a display of loyalty to the other passengers at my expense. It made me feel sick. Being the pariah in seat B 19 surrounded by folks loudly smart-phoning in their scurvy’d hardships of being marooned and kidnapped souls (“and he’s sitting just across from me”) to their loved ones waiting anxiously for their return was an exercise in wrongful humiliation and gracelessness. Nicer still people.

But hey, stories of transit woes tend to bore me as well, so I will spare you the same such tedium and stop myself here.

So, why not paraphrase the day and save us all some time and energy in this age of peak oil and economic uncertainty;

“Today, I pissed in the corner of a train station shelter waiting 3 hours in the rain, for a train, that never came, before riding in a taxi for 200 miles and 500 bucks with Proud Tony Orphan before getting verbally abused by Jack and Jill Commuter under the approving watch of Captain Max Spite.”

All in all it was quite a nice day for a drive in the country.