Driver or passenger, it doesn't matter.
I'm a New Yorker so maybe it's not surprising
That one night during the Clinton Administration
I took a cab back to my house in Brooklyn Heights
And the driver turned around and asked me, "Aren't you Monica Lewinsky?"
I guess that was a compliment considering the fact that I was pushing 40.
Speaking of pushing, there was the time that my boyfriend --
A taxi driver from Rimini, Italy, the town made famous by Federico Fellini --
Asked a passenger to get out of his cab and help him push his taxi up the narrow street of a little hill town to the man's medieval villa.
Invited in for a drink, my boyfriend politely declined, explaining that he didn't have time, that he had to get back
(A strange excuse for an Italian, I know).
A couple of days later, browsing the titles at the newsstand,
He discovered that man in his taxi was the famous writer Umberto Eco.
In today's world of smartphones and social networks and seamless webs,
There's something about those taxi tales that makes me smile.
Perhaps because they're a throwback to the days when journeys were destinations and
Literature unfolded one step at a time.
Feb. 20, 2016