His coffee cup was half full and stained from such an ongoing use of consumption there was really no time for cleaning. A way of thinking I can relate to. I leaned over his right shoulder from the back seat and whispered that I didn't have time for percentages. His response was a puff from his half lit cigarette and a drink from his luke warm coffee. It would never have crossed his mind that the coffee cup was half empty, I know this from the simple smile that came across this unusual cab driver's face after taking a 3 in the morning sip of his best friend. 5 minutes into the cab ride and still no talking, even though we were having a great conversation while staring out into the dark night. The smoke from his cigarette never bothered me, because it smelled just like the steam from my tea. His elbow pointed out the window in an upward direction from all four windows being broken. It looked as if we were sliding down the top of a house key, and into a laser tag arena from the outside lights shooting through the cab's windshield.
Another seminar to coach, another customer to drive. Another late night training, another late night driving. No music, which made the ride a little awkward at first, but after the silence crept in the outside world was blaring with sounds, sounds that made the cab driver bang on the steering wheel while occasionally grabbing his Babe Ruth bobble head so it wouldn't slide around the dash board. He drove with such rhythm, such speed, but at the same time with such relaxation. No worry in the world, just a cab drive with coffee and a midnight smoke. A gold chain around his hairy neck that had a picture of an old lady in black and white. A folded up book on how to draw, and a flashing clock that wasn't even set. Time to him did not exist, what's the point? What's the big deal with time anyway? This is what he said to me without saying anything at all, only a very smooth drag from his smoke, and another smile after drinking miss brown eyes from his yellow finger nails and calloused hands. Happy, nothing more, nothing less. Two people in the back seat as if we knew each other for years. Or better yet... like we were never there. Still no talking, besides a slight cough that led to another, then a long chug from the life juice that keeps him company on these late nights of driving. Driving his life, driving us, driving coffee to his soul, only to drive to get more. The whole world is asleep besides him. Driving throughout the night passing through every green light you could imagine. He waves to the local police as he drives by, while keeping his eyes straight forward, the cold wind outside blows out his cigarette, does he notice, of course not, he ain't got time to notice, he only has time to max out. At this point, the smoke is completely out, but he still puffs away with his eyes on the road, focused, getting work done, training hard in his own way. A part of the Attitude Nation and he doesn't even know it.
This cab driver reminded me why I ain't got time for percentages, because he doesn't. There ain't no percentages for feeding your family. There ain't no percentages for doing your job, being happy, riding the rhythm of the night with Babe Ruth. There ain't no percentages for the hard workers, the late night smokers, the Miss Brown Eye's lovers, the cab drivers. Weightlifting is like the real world, it's always max out time. Windows broken like my back, coffee mug stained like my chalky hands, driving with speed and precision like a weightlifter does with the bar. Rhythm of the night like rhythm in the gym. There is no difference between this cab driver and me, from him to you, you to me. No time to set the clock, we don't need to be reminded when and what to do because we are there before the clock could ever do its job. We don't live because we are told to, we live because its what we want to do. Freedom is what this man has that many don't. Freedom is why we roll down the windows at night. Freedom is why he drives with so much rhythm. The cab driver has reminded me why I drink coffee, why I drive with the AC up and windows down, because we are free.
The cab driver dropped us off while still not speaking, only a popped trunk like Tyson Hips, and a bag grab and drop like the hit and catch drill. We missed each other's eye contact, and then that was that. He drove off into the night with smoke swirling out from his broken windows. Off to max out in life, to be rewarded with family and happiness. His cab was beat to bloody hell, his finger nails were yellow, his bobble head didn't stay in one place, and his coffee cup was a mess......... He ain't got time for percentages.
Max Out 2016