Beep beep!

So a taxi driver decides to be a playwright. This is a source of inspiration I dip into in moments of impatience and frustration.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ishy Din and worked in collaboration with Fin Kennedy, artistic director of Tamasha theatre and Central Saint Martin. The result was a monologue that other taxi drivers performed as part of Ishy’s ‘Taxi Tales’ project. 3 cabbies from Stockton being actors for the day. Mine was performed by Bilal Ahmed and is available to listen here: http://www.tamasha.org.uk/taxi-tales/

My Daughter’s in Love

Sorry – sorry, I was away with the fairies there. Did you say something love? My head’s everywhere…

I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I’m not meself, ya see. I usually talk a lot and make people laugh, ya know. I’m more chatty, me.

But … It’s just – it’s just the other day – me daughter told me she’s in love.

I know you might think that’s sweet and go, “ahhh bless” but I can’t get my head round it. I gotta tell someone, ya don’t mind, I hope…

She tells me something like this – and I don’t know how on earth I’m gonna cope.

Shall I tell ya about it? It might help me make some sense. I might ramble a bit, but I need to talk, to vent, like. Stop me being so tense.

So, I’m waiting for a fare at Thornaby station and I see her getting out of the station with this boy. A white boy!

And she’s giggling? She doesn’t giggle. She’s a good girl. Serious sometimes. But she was giggling and acting all coy.

So she gets into this car! I really want to know where she’s going of course, so I follow her. I wanna know why she’s there.

Far from home, far from her street we live – with some boy, giggling and twirling her hair.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I’m not meself, ya see. I usually talk a lot and make people laugh, ya know. I’m more chatty, me.

But … It’s just – it’s just the other day – me daughter told me she’s in love.

So I follow her and this boy and they stop on Thorntree Road. You know it? And I’m thinking to meself – why is she stopping here? She don’t know no one.

I had to drive low – I hide to hide a bit. I didn’t want her to see me and then try and run.

So I’ve gotta be careful now, like. And I’ve gotta hide, cos course she knows me car.

So I see them get out and walk into a church. Yeah – Thornaby Baptist Church. And I’m thinking – what’s going on? This is so bizarre.

Why would she be going in a church? It’s not something we do. She’s got no business being here, and she knows it too.

So she walks down the road – and then I’m like – what, this boy she was giggling with can’t even take her home? So I see her walking and I’m kind of driving slowly – and I’m thinking, shall I call her phone?

Am I being too, I dunno – too protective, too much of a dad? But you can understand, can’t ya? You’d do the same if it were your little girl, your family? Ya know – cos it’s all that you have.

Anyway, I follow her for a while, but I lose her somewhere bear Millbank Lane. She’s fourteen now. She’s a good girl. Serious sometimes. But, ya know, good.

But this all seems outta place. Something’s not right. Things aren’t what they should.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I’m not meself, ya see. I usually talk a lot and make people laugh, ya know. I’m more chatty, me.

But … It’s just – it’s just the other day – me daughter told me she’s in love.

So I have to go pick up a fare now and I’m not really listening. That’s not like me. And I’m going, “yeah, oh that’s nice,” cos I think he’s talking about his cat.

I kinda feel bad cos I know he wants to, ya know, have a gossip and a bit of a chat.

And then I see me daughter so I drop off the old lady on Fullerton round the corner – and I park up and give her a buzz.

I’m afraid that when she picks up the phone – she’s gonna tell me something awful, like. But this is worse! I never expected her to tell me she’s in love.

I’m piecing this all together now. Well trying to – cos of course I don’t know where to start. She’s my little girl, ya see. So boys and giggling – it’s all just breaking me heart.

So she gets in me car and she’s not talking. And I’m not talking and it’s just silent I don’t have the radio on or nothing and everything around us is so still.

This. Doesn’t. Feel. Real.

I come clean and tell her I know about the church and the boy. The giggling, the twirling the hair. The acting all coy.

And she tells me she’s in love. But it’s not the boy, like I thought. And I’m thinking – what is she saying to me?

Well, I can’t swallow all of a sudden and me heart’s racing so fast and I think I’m going to crash the car. She’s in love – but who with. Who could it be?

“Jesus.” She says. “I’m in love with the Lord. That boy’s the pastor’s son and I’ve been going to church. I know this aint’ us. It’s against our belief’s – but I’ve found something new, for me. And it’s just such a relief.”

She’s looking at me all wide-eyed and I get a flashback of her tiny and like, small.

A time when I was her all.

She’d follow me around and curl up in me arms. Wanted me all to herself.

But now she’s saying she’s in love. In love with someone else…

Sorry – sorry, I didn’t mean to go on a bit there. Did you say something love? My head’s everywhere…

I’m sorry, I’m sorry… I’m not meself, ya see. I’m usually not like this and make people laugh, ya know. I’m more chatty, me.

But … It’s just – it’s just me daughter’s told me she’s in love.

Copyright Titilola Ige

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