So today was my last day working down at the cold (FREEZING!) warehouse. I was so relieved. I was feeling like crap since I'd been having Aunty-Rose related cramps all day, tired, feeling awful still because of the stuff I spoke about yesterday (and also because something was said that made me even sadder, and made me remember how different things were a year ago), and did I mention I was cold??? :( All I needed to get out of the way was my taxi ride home and then I could have a cry and a hot water bottle to cuddle (and a drink if I wanted!).
I phoned a taxi company local to the warehouse as I didn't think my regular taxi company would come all the way out to get me. I phoned them on Monday too and got a car really quickly and a nice driver, so I had a nice journey home.
I should have known something was a bit weird when the taxi pulled up, I opened the door and before I could check it was for me, the taxi driver shouted "come on in, you're missing the party!"
"Er - okay," I replied uncertainly, getting in.
What followed was a twenty minute journey of oddness, amusement and . . . well, slight fear at times on my part . . .
It all started off fairly normally. The driver, like the one the other day, asked me what I'd been doing in the warehouse and where I worked normally. I replied without too much detail. Next thing he was telling me he had worked in the warehouse himself as part of his first job, something to do with emptying skips or something like that? Fair enough. Nothing too out of the ordinary there.
For some reason then the subject of taxi companies came up. He asked me what one I usually used, and then told me how he'd made up his own little song for the firm he worked for. "Would you like to hear it?" he asked. I shrugged. "Sure, go ahead."
He proceeded to launch into a two-minute (somewhat off-tune) jingle he told me he'd made up one day "out of boredom". About how the taxi company would take you to the bar, take you to "the flicks", even pick you up "from the brew". I wasn't sure whether I was meant to laugh or not. I was amused but I'm not sure if it was for the right reasons. He was telling me how he'd told his bosses about it but they weren't willing to use it to promote the company. Apparently everyone else in the company LOVES it though . . .
"So what do you want for Christmas?" he asked next.
"Hmm, I'm not sure if there's anything I really want," I replied. I have decidophobia after all, and resent being put on the spot.
"Okay, I'll buy you a chocolate bar!" he announces. "Let's go buy you a chocolate bar as a Christmas present."
"It's okay," I said hastily. "It's not Christmas yet, it's fine." (Oooh, yeah, and I met you all of five minutes ago, I added inwardly).
"So come on, you must want SOMETHING for Christmas," he pressed me. I shrugged. "I think I'm a bit old for Christmas."
Of course, then he asked what age I was. And, since I love to indulge my vanity once in a while, I said, "guess". Which probably wasn't the best of ideas, since he was then staring into the back seat instead of looking at the road. "23?" he estimated. RESULT! He was taken aback at my true age. Of course, then the tables turned and he asked me to guess his age. I'm CRAP at age-guessing. I estimated he looked around 40 so guessed 35. Turned out he was 34 - oops. Don't think he was too happy with that. Man, am I lucky I rounded down.
"So what's your name?" he asked. Once again, I was too caught-off-guard to lie.
"Oh - Paula!" he exclaimed. "I LOVE that name!!! I bet you get that song sung to you all the time." I expressed ignorance. "Oh come on, you MUST know the song 'Hey Paula'" he said. " Here, I'll sing it to you. I mean, I doubt the words will come true, you're obviously too good for me, but you never know!" Once again, the singing started. I cringed as all this stuff about him wanting to marry me and blah-blah-blah came out in musical form. By this point, I was starting to feel decidedly awkward.
"So are you married?" he asked. I said no, wishing I was a better liar. "Living with someone? Are you a lesbian? Good. I don't understand people like that at all. I went out with this girl once and she said to me 'I really like you, but you're just the wrong sex." She was fucking gorgeous as well. I was GUTTED."
Apparently without drawing breath, he glanced around at me again. "Did getting that thing in your nose hurt?" he asked. "I don't like piercings, they hurt. I mean, I think they look REALLY NICE ON OTHER PEOPLE, but I can't put up with the pain myself." (Meanwhile I was still wondering how he had managed to spot my nose piercing in the darkness).
"You look like you should be a nurse," was his next comment. "You're really angelic looking." (Hmmmm . . .)
"Get out of the way people!" he ranted through his windscreen at a couple trying to cross the road. "Ooh, doesn't she look like Madonna?" he said about the female half of the couple, who was probably not much older than me. "Will I tell her?" He started to roll down his window. "No!" I practically screeched. I don't think the woman would have seen it as a compliment . . .
Next glance around and I got the question "Did you used to be engaged?" He had somehow in a quick glance taken in the two gold rings I wear on the middle finger of left hand, both of which were my gran's. I was getting quite freaked out now by his overly-keen observational skills.
By this point, I was considering getting out of the taxi early, as I was feeling . . . well, scared. He was asking me where I hung out of an evening, who I lived with . . . As we drove past it, he told me some story about standing outside Oran Mor last Christmas wearing a suit and no socks or shoes offering to take pictures of people for a fiver a go . . . I could barely keep track of the conversation (except for blogging purposes, of course).
By the time we were close to my street he was back to the chocolate bar present again. "It's fine thanks," I said hastily, as he rambled on and drove right past my street. "Anyway, you can just let me off here." In a way i didn't really want him to see where I lived exactly.
"Oh have I driven past your street?" he asked. "Will I go back?"
"No, it's fine," I said quickly. I practically flung the money at him, telling him to keep the change. I was out of the car in a flash (while still trying to maintain a semblence of friendliness, obviously!). I quickly made a beeline back down the main road and onto my street although I could hear him turning to make his way back from whence he came.
Two seconds later all I heard was him yelling "I fucking miss you already, Paula!"
I didn't look back. I'm sure half the street did though . . .