I thought I’d share something that took place a while ago, it was one of those fun things that happen from time to time.
A friend and I were going to the house I had lived in from the time I was a child 40+ years ago. We were in a nearby city, the house was a 20 minute drive away, and so we booked a taxi, and after a short wait it arrived to take us there.
The driver was about 60 years old and had white hair, he was quite friendly and started chatting straight away. I had never met him before and he said he was from another town about 25 miles away, that he was new here and he hadn’t been around this area long. He said he was just filling in for someone else, and that he hadn’t driven the taxi to my town before, but he would take us there.
He spoke about how nice it used to be years ago when life and the towns we lived in were much simpler, and he spoke about when people worked in a factory and made tools in the area. I answered that my father used to work in a factory as a toolmaker and the taxi driver replied that Lucas was a good factory. I agreed, as that was where my father worked, but it didn’t occur to me to ask him how he came to mention the name of the factory.
I sat in the back seat and as he spoke he kept turning around to look at me, which was a bit dangerous. He referred to me as Mark even though I hadn’t told him my name, and went on to say that it was difficult working shifts at night in those days, and I replied that my father used to work night shifts and found it difficult.
Then he continued and said that they were nice times when you were a child and you used to go up the lane ‘out the back’ on your bike when you were seven, and I answered that it was, and my father bought the bike for me.
The taxi driver continued and said how the gears broke on my bike, he went into detail about the fault and how my dad fixed it in the garden. At that point we reached our destination, we got out and he drove away.
As I watched him drive off it occurred to me that I hadn’t told him my name and yet he had been addressing me by it. I wondered how he knew so much about my past almost 40 years earlier, and I wondered why I didn’t think at the time to ask him how he knew what he did.
But what really made me wonder was that only my father and I knew about him repairing the broken gears in the garden, no one else was there.