Lovely Day

Who: Fred
Age: 40
City: New York, NY
Profession: Taxi Driver

He owns an eco-friendly kind of taxi; they’re becoming popular these days. The A/C is on but not blasting at us, just enough to cool the beads of sweat on my forehead, nose, chin. A moment later, I notice beads slipping down my forearms as well. I let them. The music hits me like a ton of bricks. Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day”. I can’t help myself, “I love this song,” I explode at him. “Oh, yes, it’s a favorite for many,” he says from over his shoulder.

When I wake up in the morning, love… 

“Little do people know about the fella,” Fred continues. I see his thick, dark head of hair, parts of his cream shirt and a slice of his eyes through his rearview mirror. I can’t distinguish his nationality. “How you mean?” I ask. I’m hoping he won’t lower the volume to start a conversation when I just told the guy I want to hear it. He does. Damn it. He looks at me from his mirror, “Mr. Wither’s use to hit his women.” That stops me. “What?” I ask in shock. “Yes, he was known to express his feelings through his fist.”

A lovely day. Lovely day, lovely day, love-ly day…

Fred lets this statement land for a moment. Smart ass. I feed into it, “That’s crazy,” I exclaim. “Yes, it is,” he affirms. Another beat. I squint out at the Hudson, the sun setting on New Jersey. “My question to you, ma’am, is does it affect the way you appreciate this song now?”

Then I look at you and I world is al-right with me…

I’m speechless. I’m listening to this song in a way I’ve never done so in my life; a song that has shaped fond memories to millions of people, has been overplayed in movies and commercials, and has been memorized without even trying, by all – and yet the heart and soul, the creator, is a woman-beater?

Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be, a lovely day…

“That really sucks,” I say. Fred doesn’t say anything. I don’t know how to answer his question. I’m sure a lot will change, but I don’t want to assume so at the moment. Can we still enjoy a lovely song just the same? Do I want to?

Fred turns up the volume again.
I look back out the window.

Author: pizzaslices

Liza is an actor and co-creator of Subway Token Films, a film production company that captures Street Level Miracles through films. That is, moments in our lives when the story as we know it stops, the lens is pulled back and something more expansive is revealed to us. Liza has won awards and audiences alike for her portrayals of the immigrant story on stage and film. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles with her partner, actor Felix Solis.