“Umm, I try never to ask these things to the customer, but I just, I, uh, I just really want to.
You’re that psychiatrist, right?
I mean, I see you walking on the street and I think it is you, and then you raise your arm to stop me, and I think, ‘Wow, her, in my cab!’ But then I didn’t say anything, and now I think ‘I know I’m not supposed to say it when I pick up such people,’ but then I heard you speak and now I am sure that it is you, and so I just have to ask…”
I feel bad.
I stop him.
“I’m not a psychiatrist,” I laugh. “I could probably use a psychiatrist. But I’m not one.”
(“And how does that make you feel?” I can picture my roommate chiding/mocking me when I relay this whole bit.)
The fact that I’m going to write about this when I get home makes me sure I should see a psychiatrist, I think. To myself.
He asks for my autograph. He says he’s sure it’s me. He looks quite sad when I try, again, to protest.
I'm not sure whether he wants me to sign as Dr. Joyce Brothers. Or Dr. Phil. Or, I can’t think of any more, and I am so far from figuring out exactly who he thinks I might be, that I scribble “Thank you for the ride. XO, Me” on a scrap of Sunday’s New York Times Arts and Leisure cover. And then I dash.
Although I do think, for a moment, about asking him for his autograph too.