I thanked my driver for finding me. He actually drove past me and honked his horn lightly, which I thought meant he was turning around, but he thought I lived at a complex at another location. Thankfully he figured it out. I got in the car, and he said, “I thought you lived at the place on the corner. I lived there with my fiancee` until 2005. She killed herself in 2008.”
I told him I was sorry to hear that. He said it was all right, it just brought back memories. And then he told me that today is his 50th birthday. My driver said he wasn’t sure if he would have made it to this age, because he was a gang banger in his younger years. I am not surprised by anything and I don’t change my facial expressions when these things are revealed, so usually people keep chatting. And he did.
I told him I traveled when I was younger. He told me he did too, the best decision he made, but it was really only about 12 years ago. He was doing landscaping and one of his clients was moving across country to Virginia. She asked if he would help her drive the moving van, and she would pay expenses, the flight back, plus extra cash. It was his first big trip. He loved it. He kept saying that nothing funny or fishy happened between him and the lady, and I told him it was okay, it didn’t have to be that way. [It seems like men who grow up with a very macho/machismo background have a difficult time with platonic relationships or explaining them.]
I told him that I thought it was great that he took her up on her offer, because obviously it made him very happy. He talked about all the states and cities he went through, and the pictures he took. He actually thought he was going to do another trip like that with another friend moving to Florida a few months ago (who has a comfortable income and probably could have been a little fancier with his reimbursement), but he wasn’t available and was sad that he couldn’t make that trip. We discussed being happy with life and not having regrets, rather than waiting for others to make our plans.
Recently he had a health scare, so we briefly talked about making lifestyle changes. He still has quite a bit of energy, so despite his crazy 20s, 30s, and maybe some 40s, I think he is going to be around for a while. He told me he grew up in San Diego and misses the ocean terribly. We talked about how we don’t do anything to conserve water in Phoenix, and how likely it is he is going to be seeking oceanside property in the next 5-10 years. He also asked if I was married; I told him no, men are expensive. He said no, don’t be that way….but hey, I’ve been married a few times, and maybe I will get married again later. [That kind of makes me cringe, but I am on the side of not trusting anyone at this point.]
As he dropped me, I wished him a happy 50th and told him to make good plans. My wish for good plans is for the rest of his life, not just today.