LONELY

I caught a ride to meet up with a friend who was in town from Dubai. I was coming from a photo assignment I’d been shooting over at the Wave Organ. I joined the driver in the front of the car. He was extremely overweight, maybe in his 40s, black. A kind, very tender, sensitive man. I felt that he was a good person.

He told me that he believed I was an angel. A literal angel. He said that when he first saw me standing there waiting for him in the parking lot that he saw a bright glow, an angelic glow all around me. Within the first few minutes of the car ride, he became convinced that he was in love with me. He became very attached to me. He wasn’t crazy — just very lonely. I was being present with him and listening to him and it seemed like maybe nobody else had done that for him for many years.

He opened up to me about how lonely he was; how much he wanted to be loved and wanted someone to love. He wanted me to be that person, he said, but we both knew that I wouldn’t/couldn’t be. It hurt me to have to gently, subtly keep this man at a safe emotional distance. I wanted him to be happy, to have the love that he so wanted.

He was sad when I had to get out of the car. Heartbroken. He dropped me off at the corner and we wished each other well and then I never saw him again.

 

DRIVER

I’d give anything in the world to have a lady like you. I would, you know? Maybe one of these days I’ll find her. Seems like everybody’s taken.

 

COURTNEY

Yeah, it can be tough, but I think that when you start believing there’s someone out there, being open to that, you know, the right person comes along.

 

DRIVER

But why can’t it just be the one that I want? I mean — [laughs].

 

COURTNEY

I don’t know.

 

DRIVER

Why can’t she be the one that I — well, I pray about my relationship. I pray. I say, Father, please, send me someone. Someone that you approve of. And I believe, I do that. It’s just that I’m impatient. And I want it now. And I said, it’s been two years, you know? I mean…

 

COURTNEY

That is tough. Yeah.

 

DRIVER

And every time I look at the Sandals commercial, and I see these couples, and the lady’s dancing so sexy with her beautiful blonde hair, and the guy — it’s like they’re into each other. And I say, how come that can’t be me?

 

COURTNEY

Yeah.

 

DRIVER

And then I start gettin’ lonely.

 

COURTNEY

Yeah, it’s so hard to be lonely. I mean, it really is.

 

DRIVER

Oh, wow.

 

COURTNEY

It’s so tough. I find it’s really good, when you want something—

 

DRIVER

Yeah.

 

COURTNEY

—to just become really clear about it. And a good way of doing that is to just spend time kind of imagining, you know? Like, maybe you get up and you’re sitting with your coffee in the morning and just imagining yourself — maybe you’re dancing with that lady…

 

DRIVER

Yes.

 

COURTNEY

Just really thinking about it.

 

DRIVER

I want that person to be you that I’m dancing with.

 

[COURTNEY laughs]

 

COURTNEY

Are you a good dancer?

 

DRIVER

I think so.

 

[Another passenger gets in the car]

 

PASSENGER

Hello!

 

DRIVER

Hey!

 

COURTNEY

Hey, how’s it going?

 

DRIVER

But, you know. I just wanna be happy.

 

COURTNEY

Well, it’s good that you’re in a social job, you know? Where you’re talking to people a lot? I know it’s not the same, but—

 

DRIVER

No, it’s not the same at all.

 

COURTNEY

But it’s a good way to be meeting people a lot, right?

 

DRIVER

But you never see them again.

 

[silence]

 

Never see them again. I’ve never picked up the same person twice

 

COURTNEY

Really? Yeah, I guess I’ve never had the same driver…

 

DRIVER

Yeah. I mean, sometimes I wish I could. Especially when I can [offer??] to a lot of people; bring them out of depression, things like that. Then I would love to be able to see them again, see how they’re doing. But I never see them. But, anyway… just… it can sometimes be really challenging, so…

 

But you have this thing like you’re gonna cry. And I think it’s sorta nice, though, for some reason or another. And I know you’re not—

 

[COURTNEY laughs]

 

—but, it’s just, like, one of those baby face things. Kinda hard to describe.

 

COURTNEY

I think I know what you’re saying.

 

DRIVER

[laughing]

Oh-ho, boy. Ah, man. I’m gonna think about this day — when I stop I

 

AUTO NAV

Make a right turn on California Street then pick up Stephanie on the right.

 

DRIVER

Alright, another one?

 

COURTNEY

We got a full car today.

 

STEPHANIE

Are you picking up for Stephanie?

 

DRIVER

Stephanie, right! [laughs] Oh my goodness, this day.

 

[to STEPHANIE]

Hi, how are you?