We stumbled down the street, poking our heads into a line of cabs, one by one. “5 to Boson.” “No, sorry, I can’t do that.” The last one gave in. “You have to be sneaky about it. The guys behind me are Shiites and they will call my boss.” He was an American, like us, he told us. Born in Lansing. His dad, a Sunni from Jordan, worked in a plant. But, at some point, the driver moved back to Jordan and learned the language and religion.
He talks in what sound like conspiracies. Maybe history. I don't know. My history teachers were football coaches, and I use that as my excuse. I try to expand.
At this point, I reached for my phone and began to record. Claire was laying on the floorboard. I was squished against the left-side window and could see him in the mirror, his dark eyes focused on road ahead, growing dimmer as the midnight sun began to set.
DRIVER: …was put down, by Oswald… Oswald was on his way to testify. Jack [something]stein was a Jewish gangster. And, and, Bobby took over. They brought down [sic] Palestinian guys named [sic]… And Americans know that people died, but nobody knows why [sic] was an Arabic guy who shot down Bobby Kennedy and one was a Jewish guy. It was like, building up a network… the whole Zionism thing. Fuckin’ religious power inside the United States, ya know? If it makes money, it’s good, ya know?
Right now, they created a war between Sunni and Shia and you can see the results, ya know? From my, partners (the other cab drivers). And, that will make, ya know, 150 million people [sic] down with a population of an estimated 2.6 billion people. And, it will minimize the numbers of Muslims in the world. Ya know, it’s all been done by… it’s not America who’s doing this – it’s Saudi Arabia that’s doing this. Everybody’s making money, ya know? Killing their own people. And, for some reason, you know, it looks so much beautiful in America, you know? We have fancy cars that look cool… But the question is, nobody wants America to disappear. We all love America. My life is in America. But… something has to stop.
US: yeah, yeah
KYRA: something has to give…
DRIVER: I don’t know how to stop it. I’m an individual. I’m a cab driver. I have family, you know? I’m not rich, I’m not… but you know… It has to stop from me and you. I wouldn’t let my brother or any of my closest persons go to war.
US: yeah, yeah
DRIVER: The idea of going to war, you know, is.. is stupid you know? A lot of American young guys there who just have [sic]… to Afghanistan, yeah, and then you recruit them, and then… you know I was in the Jordanian army, and I was a [sic], and I got many times called from your CIA and my CIA. You know, they wanted us because we speak Arabic. And because I’m born in America and I have a social security number and every shit. You know… we get offers like that. But the question is, man, its.. its not like a how you see it. It’s better to be proud of my country America without my knowing the truth. Because there’s a lot of things, you know. And this doesn’t represent the American people. What the CIA does… See, I wouldn’t do it alone.
*SETH GIVES DIRECTIONS*
DRIVER: There’s a lot of corruption right now, but you know… what we can do… I, I didn’t vote for Trump.
US: *laughs* Yeah, yeah
DRIVER: I voted for Hillary because I didn’t want my sister to be angry at me. Because my sister loves Hillary. I don’t know why. Maybe because she’s fat like her.
US: *cringing and laughing*
DRIVER: I’m just kidding, I love my sister.
SETH: We’re studying here, actually. We’re part of a class.
DRIVER: What are you studying?
SETH: We’re studying politics, actually. So one of the big things our professor told us is that we’re Americans, but we’re not like… America. So, like, what it’s done, is not like what we’ve done. It’s not all us.
DRIVER: Yeah, you know, I’m not criticizing you…
SETH: Yeah, cause you’re American, too!
DRIVER: Listen, listen. I’m gonna be honest. You guys were more cleaner than us. We fucked you up.
DRIVER: We brought Playboy… I’ll be honest!!
SETH: *laughs* I appreciate that!
DRIVER: We brought gambling, drugs… you know… If it wasn’t for the Arabs and the Jews, these things wouldn’t be happening. They’ve been fighting since, you know, Prophet Ishmail(?) [sic] until this day. They want Jerusalem and they want [sic]. They want to take that mosque because they want the [sic] so they can talk to the wind and the earth and control the earth. It’s a kind of old prophecy. You guys don’t know about that. They don’t teach you that. It’s [something in Arabic].
I’ve seen people in Israel flying from here to here. Don’t ask me how. I saw it with my eyes. David [sic] played the fuckin’ liberty statue disappear by [sic] magic. How did these things win? One side, America.
KISS used that special kind of worship thing.. I don’t even like to talk about it. The old [sic] and the Sabbats and the Jewish people are the best magicians in the world. Moses came to them because, you know, they’re very good with magic. And they use this magic on you guys. And it worked. It became a part of fading images in America.
You see a guy with a big beard, you know, sittin’ on a fuckin’ mountain. You get a fuckin’ feeling that he’s dangerous. That didn’t happen like that. There are people who created images. Images become fact.
ME: controlling images
DRIVER: Nobody knows that the Queen’s father and family are Muslims. His uncle is one of the most wanted guys in the US government. He’s one of the Talibans.
SETH: I didn’t know that… I was just in Zanzibar.. and I saw his house.
DRIVER: A lot of people.. you know, change their name because, you know, they couldn’t just… It wouldn’t happen to [sic], but it’s become… a whole show, you know? These people become in power and they do not allow other people to come into power. That’s just how it happens. This is how it happened. It happened long time ago. It was, you know, started by the [sic], making Saudi Arabia, our countries very very rich. A lot of money, for no reason. You ever ask why these Arabs are in these white clothes –
Then the tape cuts off. The driver drops us off at Lyftaren. I stumble into my room, eat a whole loaf of bread, and write draft zero.