I've often said that I have no friends and am the friend of no one. (Exception- my estranged wife.) A full time taxi driver does not have the time, money, energy or even the inclination to be a real friend as in "here's the $500 to make your rent.- I know you'll pay it back when you can" or "let's go see the Yanks beat Boston's ass up at the stadium." Stuff like that.
But I see now that being a friend needn't be time, energy nor money consuming. The homeless ex taxi driver who grew up in Queensbridge like I did , the guy who's banned from the Gotham Yellow premises and who sits or leans on a fire plug outside the yard told me that I have been a "real friend" to him. A lot of drivers slip him a buck or two. I have conversations with him. He was out of sorts yesterday. He was disoriented and confused. Wasn't certain why he was where he was or where he'd been earlier. I had never seen him like this. He's been on the street living on handouts for around a year. Not long ago he was approached by two white cops at his favorite subway station. They gave him ten bucks and went on their way. That goes to show that even the lowest of the low wants to think well of himself and so will do a good deed. Reminds me of the pimp who announced with pride " at least I pay my taxi fare!'
Today my friend seemed to be doing better. Cold weather is coming.