Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Hi! How've you been?
I've been hesitant to post here lately, mainly because I've been too busy for the past two months promoting the book (which is, of course, available for purchase using the handy little Amazon link to the right, hardy har har). And I certainly don't want to let anyone down, but I have to say, if blogging paid the bills, I'd probably do it a lot more. Writing this blog has indeed given me so much, but the truth is that for the past year or so, the book advance and some overdue settlement money from a long-ago accident are what's helped me get by, with some supplemented income from driving a cab. Call me selfish, but this is the way it is. I live in New York, for fuck's sake.
Still, I've been extremely lucky. For the past two months, I've been doing non-stop interviews to get the word out about my book. I was really happy that people were so interested, but it was weird and exhausting running around like that, answering the same questions over and over and over. Eventually, I got used to it. Plus, it was easier than driving a taxi! In fact, it wasn't totally unlike those long shifts when every single passenger that got in my backseat quizzed the shit out of me with the same exact list of questions ("How'd you get into this? Where'd you grow up? How old are you? What's it like to drive a taxi? What's next?").
What's funny is that I was being asked about driving a taxi so much that I had no time to actually drive a taxi. The side-effect of all this, however, was that after a little while, I needed a little break from thinking about, talking about, and -- yes -- writing about the damn taxi business. Which is another part of why I neglected this blog so badly.
Of course, I still find the job fascinating, and I find myself always coming back to it, no matter how hard I might try to get away. In fact, I just finished reading a great book about the history of the taxi industry in New York. I highly recommend it -- it's called "Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver" by Graham Russell Gao Hodges. It really put me in my place, in a good way.
But, despite my obvious addiction to all things taxi, I'm finally working up the nerve to move on to other things. This whole thing, driving a cab in New York, started in the spirit of seeking out adventure. There was no intention to start a blog or write a book or do a hundred interviews and somehow become the spokesperson for an industry I only entered three years ago. And there was never any intention to make a career out of it and do it forever. I want to hang on to that original mindset for the next thing I do and not worry about all the other stuff, because then it feels like a trap.
Of course, I'm still working on deciding exactly what my next step will be, but I'm so excited by the idea of embarking on a brand new adventure. I've got a few ideas that I'm kicking around, but I'm not ready to talk about anything just yet.
And lastly, I haven't totally quit driving a cab. I don't think I ever will, to be perfectly honest. Now that the journalists are bored of me, I can pull a normal shift again if I need the cash. Which will be soon. And then there will be something to blog about.