this is such a powerful image.. sometimes the pieces just don’t match up, no matter how hard you try.
Why do people on tumblr have to analyze everything to be something meaningful or deep? Maybe someone thought it’d be cool to staple two different fruits together…
I think it’s more annoying that there’s this common notion that Tumblr analyzes things too much, because in this case, the comment is perfectly suitable. It’s an apple and an orange. The saying goes that you can’t compare apples and oranges; they’re two completely separate entities. This is a powerful image. This is heartwrenching. This is analytical.
And to demean that message just because it’s on Tumblr is a shame. You’re missing something very valuable.
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
war kills people from the inside out sometimes
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”
My last class ended around 8:16 PM. Our polls had closed at 8 PM, and I was anxious to get home and start obsessively checking election results. I had barely left Dwinelle Hall when I heard a cry go up from Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley’s preferred site for student activity and collective action. Moments later, somebody announced over a loudspeaker, “Barack Obama is the President of the United States.”
I ran over. A screen had been set up in front of Sproul Hall at around 5 PM and was showing CNN’s live election coverage. A huge crowd was gathered in front of it. Everybody was cheering and hugging. I was crying, which I really had not expected, but I was so overwhelmed. According to KTVU News, something like a thousand of us eventually gathered at Sproul tonight.
The duller moments in the election coverage were filled with occasion-appropriate music like “Party in the USA” and “I Gotta Feeling,” while captions ensured we weren’t missing much. The smell of pot permeated the air. People waved huge American flags back and forth in front of the screen. The crowd danced and screamed, and at one point, sparklers came out (but they were a fire hazard and had to be put away). In reality, the night was chilly, but it felt perfect and beautiful in the warmth of the crowd.
Berkeley has a few Republicans, but they’re a minority. It seemed like everybody at Sproul tonight was a liberal, so when we cheered, it was a roar, a hundred voices going up in support of the same ideals. As the results hit the screen, we cheered for the legalization of marijuana in various states (of course), for Maryland when it was announced that same-sex marriage had passed, for the President every time his beautiful face graced the screen.
CNN told us that 72% of white votes went to Romney. But guess what, Romney: we’re not a white country anymore. Nor are we a country of straight, wealthy, elderly gentlemen. We’re a country of immigrants and the children of immigrants, of queer voters and queer allies who have become a group worth considering in election coverage, of students who want affordable education not just for ourselves but for the students who will come after us, and all of this is especially true at Cal.
And this was felt when Obama gave his speech. (Man has the best speech writers, by the way. Holy cow.) When he mentioned immigrants, a huge cry went up. When he mentioned gays and lesbians, a bigger one erupted. When he said “military spouse” instead of “military wife,” I gripped zaboomafoo and clawed at my face in elation. I will tell you, though, that nothing gained so loud a cheer as did Michelle Obama.
America, you can be kind of stupid sometimes, but tonight, you did good. I love my country, and I love my school. There is nowhere I would rather have been to experience the election coverage (except maybe on Tumblr at the same time because I know how you all love Obama more than America loves Obama).
But if California doesn’t repeal the death penalty tonight, I’m going to smash something.
Shout out to meesely, with whom I spent most of the three hours on Sproul. ♥