Taxi on the business account: the touchstone
should be a slightly less starchy version
of Parker from Thunderbirds – no need for
the “very good, m’lady”, the peaked cap or
the ostentatious Rolls. But still a sense
of gravitas or decorum divorced from the gregarious
comic-relief cabbies of sitcoms or cartoons,
extravagant gestures and speech balloons
bursting with inventive invective.
No, it’s a different cultural imperative
I’m thinking of: de Niro in the Scorsese film,
all bad ideas and insomnia, mind unravelling,
thoughts falling inexorably like matches
into pools of flammable liquid. It’s not that
I can picture him in some shitty tenement,
armed and practising his quick-draw technique
but more – while he spiels filth about his ex –
as the lonely misguided loser, obsessed with sex
and the drawn-curtain lives of others,
a man out of options. He pulls up, hands me a
slip to sign. It’s not that I can picture him with a gun,
but he’s unravelling. One day a rain will come.
Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham, England, where he still lives and works. He has published two full collections with Shoestring Press, No Avoiding It and Can’t Take Me Anywhere. His third collection, Service Cancelled, is due for publication later this year.