Friday, December 24, 2004

Sleeping Beauty…

The other day, after work, I went to get a cab. I waited for almost an hour. The weather was so cold, it was getting darker and darker. And when I almost lost hope, I found a taxi approaching me. I stopped it, got in and told him where I was heading to.
Frankly, I couldn’t but be shocked for the size of his eyes. He had unusual tiny eyes. Never saw eyes smaller than his. We drove to the main highway, and 5 minutes later, while I was trying to enjoy the sight of raindrops falling on the street, I felt the car moving rapidly to the extreme right! I freaked out! We were about to hit a passing car, I suddenly looked at the driver, only to find out he was in deep sleep! I woke him up, and shouted at him to take care, since we were in a highway. Thank God we didn’t have an accident. Anyway, I realized after waking him up that he had normal eyes, it was just him ABOUT TO SLEEP that he couldn’t keep his eyes wide open!
I kept watching him to make sure he’s awake! But no use, it happened again… twice! I asked him to pull over, but he refused and apologized every time I woke him up. Anyway, I wouldn’t have any other cab in the area we reached, so I kept talking to him to keep him awake till we reached the place I wanted.

As angry, as scared and as tensed as I was in the taxi, a thought kept me wondering that day. The thought of this old man, and many others like him, who are working so hard, day and night, having no time to rest, no time to sleep, no time to eat, and trying not to miss any client, just to go back home with a loaf of bread, some water, and some vegetables. Or maybe to go pay the rent, or buy medications, or, or, or…
It’s true they’re risking their lives and the life of others, by driving in such a state of exhaustion. And I don’t tend to give them excuses for what they do. But if we all help each other. If we care about people’s health, their survival and their needs! If responsible people care to save the lost money and use it in helping the needy, I’m sure this guy wouldn’t be out struggling to keep driving asleep, risking both our lives. He would be resting at home, knowing that he’ll be up in a while, active enough to drive a car, and that he will get his money in the end of each ride.
But in our time, every one of us is focusing on getting their own money, even if it meant stealing away other’s chances, ruining their hard work, or simply playing blind to ignore their calls for help.

Would there be any hope in making things better? Or will I encounter more and more sleeping beauties?