Vincent. The name was Vincent. Like the song. Vincent was a savior, not in a worldwide sense, just in my eyes. But in my opinion, that's what truly makes a savior. No need for crowds to rejoice, no need for fame, just a simple saving of ones lonely life.
You'll have to excuse me for that, I have these little moments of enlightenment, if you could call it enlightenment. I call it enlightenment.
In this job, names donít matter. Because you only know each other for those few, brief minutes. Half the time it doesnít make a difference. Itís just some asshole on the phone in his left hand, talking to his wife, saying heís gonna be working late again, while grabbing the ass of his secretary with his right.
Sometimes I wanna stop the car, drag the guy out and give him a good kicking. Tell him heís got a good wife and a nice life, and ask him why heíd want to throw it away on some cheep slut who goes through ten men, just like you, a day. But I always just keep on driving, letting that phone swinging, ass grabbing, business man eat me up inside, more and more with every filthy word he tells the little lady back home. I sometimes get the feeling that she knows. And when I do, the guy ends up on the news, shot, or stabbed, or gutted like a black cod.
In case you havenít figured it out, Iím a cabby. Yes, a good old stereotypical cabby, who wonít pick up black guys and has a Buddha Hummel figurine slapped on the dashboard. Iím kidding. Iím as white as you can get, blacks happen to be my favorite fare, they talk more, to me, not to the wife on the phone or the slut secretary in the back seat. Something about me makes people want to talk. They can be in the worse situation and still want to talk.
Donít believe me? Two months ago a man got in the cab. Tall guy, white, old (well old in the eyes of a forty year old) His eyes were red. His breaths were sounding more and more like rattling tin foil every second. I was afraid the bastard was going to have a heart attack. He told me to drive to 51 Red Ridge. Yes, I still remember the address, you donít forget it after some shit like that happens.
So we stop. And he tells me to look in the third window, second floor. Thereís a darkened silhouette. A woman. Great curves; is what I thought.
ďYou see that woman? Thatís my wife. And that ainít my house.Ē He told me.
The poor guy collapsed into a puddle of mush, crying at the back of my seat. Then he drew the gun and left the cab. Normally, I wouldíve gotten the hell out of there as fast as I could, but I didnít move. I heard two loud pops, a scream that was cut off, and then he was back in the car.
I looked at him through the rearview mirror. He was covered in their blood. In his wife's blood. In her loverís blood. His eyes were red and raw. He looked at the mirror and pushed his hair back a bit, then he asked me the question.
ďThough I may be a beast, donít I have the right to live?Ē
I met his eyes, and in that brief moment before he pulled the trigger, he smiled.
Then he blew his brains out.
The back seats are still stained from it. The cops couldnít care much to investigate. It was a Ďcrime of passioní as they say. Case closed. But I still wonder over the man, the beast, and I wonder...what did he do, to deserve it? Most people think Iím crazy, but I keep a photo, a little Kodak Moment camera snap, of his body at the crime scene. I look at it twice a day. Itís become a bit of a ritualistic phase. But itís not a phase, I have a feeling that Iíll be looking at it until I die, however long or short a time that may be.
Anyway, back to Vincent, I rambled a bit. I started this story on a short note and now itís become a journal entry. Itís like my dad trying to tell a joke where he forgets a detail that ruins the whole fucking joke. ĎOh I forgot his cape was blue.í I mean-fuck! Iím doing it again! Back to Vincent.
Vincent, Vincent, Vincent, where do I start? Well firstly, I said names donít matter, but when it comes to Vincent, the name is everything. Firstly, Vincent is a girl, a woman, you could say, but to me sheís a girl.
Daughters are always children in a parentís eyes.
Now firstly, you could say I found Vincent, but the truth was she found me. Sheís twenty, old enough to be on her own, but not old enough to lose the flame of hope all abandoned children have that theyíll actually find their 'lost' father or mother and that father or mother will still give a damn about them.
I didnít abandon Vincent, not in a practical sense, but as far as emotional abandonment goes, I ripped her heart out. I left him-damn it, her-I was never up for the whole Vincent name thing. It was kind of Don McLean, favorite song, spur of the moment type shit. Later we found out that the song was about a man. Now Iím always mixed up with the whole thing.
Anyway, I left the Czech Republic-did I mention I was Czech? No? I am not good at this. It may be too late to say, but I am. So, I left the Czech Republic for America, fifteen years ago. The plan was I should earn enough money so I could bring my wife and Vincent with me. The problem was I was arrested, I came to the country illegally, and the van I came in was Ďconfiscatedí. When I say confiscated I mean that we were dragged out and beaten, raped (Both ways. Not me, but Iíve heard the stories).
It was during this time that I fought to help the few children that went with us. I killed a guard and they escaped. But I didnít. It was never reported. I was simply locked away, for seven years. They say seven is a lucky number? Well piss on the fucker who thought that up. I lost everything. My home. My life. My family. My wife remarried five years after I was arrested. She probably thought Iíd abandoned her. I couldnít tell her what had happened. And when I got out she had moved to another country, a new name. I was nothing more then a bad memory.
Maybe thatís why Vincent tried to kill me. It was half a year ago. I picked up the poor lass and the next thing I knew, I had a gun to my head. She told me everything. She told me how I had scared her for life. And she wanted revenge. I could see it in her leaking eyes; and as she finished telling me this, I looked at her face in the mirror and I remembered the man. I remembered his eyes, just before he killed himself. Her eyes were his twin. Her eyes were a mirror of his soul.
ďIím going to kill you now, Dad.Ē She whispered, switching the safety off.
Even then, with so much hate and so much pain welled up in her heart, she still called me dad. I was still her father. She asked me if I had anything to say. Any last words. I had no begs, no pleas, no prayers, or tears. I simply looked her in the eyes and said:
ďI may be a beast, but donít I have the right to live?Ē
Why did I say it? I donít know. I may never know. But I swept her into my arms and she was mine once again. After fifteen years, my little Vincent was back.
I still drive a cab. But only part time. I work for my daughter. Ironic, I know, but when the alternative is six days a week of lying, ass grabbing businessmen, itís like heaven. I found out his name, by the way, the manís. James Rockford. A strong name. I visit his grave, every so often, and pay my respect to him and his wife (they lay side by side). But I still keep the picture, tucked in my pocket.
Sometimes, a beast may die, so a man can be reborn...