Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meryl Streep's Taxi

It was late but still light out in that way that dreams have of being two things at once. The air was warm when we came out into the evening. It was beautiful out, the kind of high summer evening when dusk lingers.

We were on 10th Ave, somewhere in lower Manhattan. My cousin Eduardo hailed a cab and I got in first. Even before my other two cousins Andrés and Maria Luisa got in, I'd already gotten into an argument with the cabbie. He did not want to go to Brooklyn and was letting me know it very clearly. I got out. We could have made him take us anyway - it's the law! - but it was better to wait for another cab than have to spend time with such an angry person.

Kind of like this but without the suitcases.
As if to prove that good things come to those who don't put up with bad behavior, another cab came driving by in the other direction. It was neither a yellow cab nor a liveried car. It was a happy off-white with a black line. It had a taxi sign and it slowed to a stop when I hailed it. Crossed the street running before the driver could change her mind. My cousins were following close behind me.

When I got there I couldn't tell her where we were going. I just stared. "Well. Are you getting in?" Meryl Streep asked me, punctuated with one amused and perfectly arched eyebrow. I didn't even answer. I just ran to other side and got in with my cousins.

Meryl looked good behind the wheel.
She was wearing a white blouse and glasses. Her hair was loosely tied back. She looked like she was enjoying a private joke pulling a prank on strangers. I was too shy to sit in the front. Maria Luisa, who was last, ended up there but she was exhausted. She just followed us in and passed out as soon as she sat down without a glance towards our driver.

Meryl was charming and hilarious as she drove us. I thought of my co-worker K. who would be so jealous when he heard. We were all chatting nonsense like old friends by the time we hit the Brooklyn Bridge. When we got to my place it seemed only natural to invite her in. My apartment had a few more rooms than it does most days, which made sense with so many cousins visiting.

We were serving tea and teasing Maria Luisa because of her reaction when she woke up and realized Meryl was sitting there with us when I woke up.

Dreams can haunt us. Dreams can soothe us. I usually go home to Barranquilla in late winter. It helps me cope with winter darkness by giving me an extra strength dose ecuatorial sun and family warmth.

This winter I was not able to go home which has given me uncharacteristic spells of homesickness. It's nice to know I can still see some of my family in my dreams, along with Meryl Streep.

Cabbies can be mean. Life in New York City can sometimes be harsh but you never know when something wonderful comes along. Maybe even hail Meryl Streep in a cab.


  1. About 25 years ago my job was very stressful. I had a wonderful dream that became my happy thought for years to come. It will by my blog post soon.

  2. Looking forward to reading it soon! It always amazes me the effect dreams can have on mood. Even silly ones!

  3. http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2012/03/everybody-needs-happy-thought.html