I got the text shortly after 5pm last Sunday night.
“Hello, Sir Rob,” it said. “How are you?”
It was a message from the cab driver who would be taking me back to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport two days hence, and I got such a kick out of being called “Sir Rob” that I think I’ll start signing my checks that way.
My driver, a Bangladeshi man who has lived in Dallas for 17 years, was a real hustler.
I was in the Lone Star State on business so I didn’t get a chance to see the sites, and since my hotel was on a street with virtually nothing but other hotels I can’t tell you much about the third largest city in Texas.
I did get to visit the George Bush Presidential Library on my last night in town, and, well, let’s just say that fantasy is best left to the folks at Disney. At least they try to be entertaining when they make shit up.
I mean, seriously, people—“Bush,” “Presidential” and “Library”—those are three words that don’t belong together under any circumstances.
I also managed to work myself up into a serious case of the heebie-jeebies for absolutely no reason, which really isn’t news given the way I’ve chosen to live my life.
I was worried about missing the plane. I was worried about not missing the plane. I was worried about losing my luggage, losing my laptop and losing my job.
The only thing I wasn’t worried about losing was my mind as I had already said, “Vaya con Dios” to anything vaguely resembling sanity a long time ago.
One of the highlights of the trip occurred at my hotel’s health club as I stumbled on one of the treadmills early Tuesday morning.
The treadmill is one of my least favorite exercise routines. I much prefer my boxing class where I work hard with a bunch of great people, as opposed to going nowhere fast all by myself. That’s just a little too close to life for my taste.
My mind was in about a dozen different places, as usual, but I finally got hold of enough of the present moment to notice a white-haired lady chugging away two treadmills down.
She wasn’t moving very fast, but she was determined and methodical. She must’ve been at it for at least a half-hour and when she finally stopped I just had to speak with her.
“I’m impressed,” I said as she wiped down the machine.
“I’m going to be 60 in May,” I said. “So life goes on?”
“Oh, sure,” she said. “No problem.”
She told me she was from Iowa, wished me well, and then she was gone.
We only spoke for about 30 seconds, but I’m so happy I met this woman. She was the best thing that happened to me in Dallas—even better than the George Bush Library.
My driver picked up right on time on Tuesday afternoon and gently chided me for not visiting the Sixth Floor Museum, which wasn’t far from my hotel.
The museum examines the life of John Kennedy and given my father’s undying adoration of JFK, I wish I had checked the place out. Another time, perhaps, when I’m traveling on my own dime.
“Are you married or single, sir?” my driver asked.
“Oh, you should’ve told me,” he said. “I would’ve taken you to some clubs.”
See? I told you he was a hustler. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, but noted that my clubbing days are well behind me.
So now I’m back in Brooklyn and none of the things I worried about actually happened. I have no immediate travel plans, but I’m thinking that I’d like to visit Iowa some day and see what makes the people there so happy.
Sir Rob needs to get off the treadmill.