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The Taxi Series - Vancouver 1975
New to the city of Vancouver, two friends and I were curious about the characters and residents of the east end of the city. What better way to explore my curiosity than to get a job driving cab, night shift in the east end? I would carry my camera and photograph the customers, I thought.
What a learning experience that was. After about six weeks of attempting to convince my customers that I was an artist and not a spy for the police or the welfare department, I decided to put the camera down. It was too much.
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The city groans under its own weight, hot and tired, leaning into its corners, melting chaotic and overworked it lies splayed out like refuse strewn along the edge of the Pacific rotting in a bath of hot air and salt. You go out alone and get drunk and come home, but you never come home alone because it always comes home with you.
The resonant lights electric blowing neon flowsy and out of focus reflect off the pawnshop windows onto the windshield. At a light the tire rubber pants, waiting in the heat, sags into the pavement, settling, glittering black car ahead waiting, a false emotion, a lie.
A rape of space in soft black vinyl, dash lights and music. Your space intimate and placid connected out through radio waves to every telephone in the city. A space vibrant but fragile and temporary and raped by choice as the door opens.
He dry falls staggers over a tricycle on the walk pulls himself up and comes on, bounces off the picket fence ripping his jacket, one shoe untied and gets in the car to go out on the town.
Homeward taxi. Slashing through the downtown fool’s gold of consumer silks and boxes honey-toned promises streaking past in emerald and black as the stuttering bearded noises fly in from the street and his breath heavy with alcohol and fear of the future rushing up unwanted through the windows he leans forward and what’s a home but a greasy door into a basement, vinyl curtains, a worn couch and a telephone to call back and you can pick up a bottle and bring it over and he’ll pay the delivery. He walks off toward the house noticing his stained shirt, he hopes the driver didn’t see.
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