A colleague from the professional meeting that I have been attending is also outside of the Renaissance to wait for a taxi. A couple walks out of the hotel, and they too are looking for a taxi to the airport. One taxi arrives. The couple are quickly upset that the taxi doesn’t appear to be for them—the taxi driver has my name. I think we should all crowd into the taxi and head promptly for the airport—instead, the taxi driver calls his dispatcher. He paces back and forth beside the car, throwing up his arm as he complains to the dispatcher about the screw-up. He’s on the phone for five minutes—and I would really like to be on the road to the airport. When he finishes the phone call, the driver says he can take only one of us. We must wait for two more taxis, and this driver won’t budge until the other two taxis arrive. “They’re on the way,” he says, “be here in a few minutes.” The couple grumbles. My colleague and I roll our eyes at the absurdity of the situation. The driver paces.Soon, two additional taxis arrive. The couple take one. My colleague takes another, and I get in my taxi. Off we all go to the airport, one taxi trailing the other down the freeway.
[The photo is the view from my room at the Renaissance Hotel
in Providence. This present tense essay actually refers to events that might have happened several weeks ago. ]