While all this was going on I had my own dramas to contend with. Nothing as personal as those confronting Driver and his loved ones but dramas none the less. They were caused by my ‘goading’ columns, as Driver so succinctly described them, when he first picked me up at the airport and drove me into work all those years ago. News often involves describing the deeds and declamations of people who would be ashamed of having those deeds and declamations made public. I’d have loved to have been the first to get my hands on the recording of Frank Postman’s unwise words, for example, but some things are better consumed live, accompanied by sound and vision, than just in print. Either way, the public has a right to know and even if that’s after a YouTube premiere, my colleagues and I get paid for exposing events that are in the public interest. Besides, there’s always a back story. Continue reading
‘I’ve got an announcement to make,’ Driver said, wrapping an arm around Minnie’s shoulders and pulling her close. ‘I declare, here and now, that I am going to quit driving taxis. And just as soon as I possibly can.’
A tear came instantly to Minnie’s eye. ‘Oh God,’ she said ‘Before yesterday I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried. Now it’s twice in two days.’
Driver kissed her softly on her forehead. He held her by both shoulders and kissed her again, this time on the lips, before wrapping her up in his arms. Continue reading
This is the 12th instalment of Fare Game, a new novel. Earlier instalments are available by clicking links in the Archives or Categories boxes to the right of the page.
Last time, the heavy toll of Luca’s death. This time, The Innocent calls Driver back.
And The Innocent reminded Driver very strongly of Minnie. As much as the No-Good Boyfriend stirred his anger and loathing for the entire Thompson clan and anyone remotely associated with them, The Innocent took Driver back to a time before he’d been forced to come to terms with the killing of his father and the loss of his first child.
All those years ago he’d felt a tingle of anticipation when Minnie called him back after he’d rescued her from her own semi-conscious drunkenness clogging the service lane of Royal Parade. To hear her voice again so soon after that first ride not only brought to mind the memory of her dishevelled beauty but also suggested she wanted to see him again and wasn’t interested in waiting. Driver experienced a tantalisingly similar sense of anticipation when he got a call from The Innocent just hours later on the same afternoon that he’d dropped her and the No-Good Boyfriend at the Thompson family home. Continue reading
This is the 11th instalment of Fare Game, a new novel. Earlier instalments are available by clicking links in the Archives or Categories boxes to the right of the page.
Last time, with The Innocent and the No-Good Boyfriend in the back seat of his taxi, Driver’s route took him past the scene of his father Luca’s death. Belatedly, Driver realises the No-Good Boyfriend looks familiar because his brother was the driver of the car that hit and killed Luca
Here’s what was established according to the police and to the undisputed acceptance of all parties, regarding the night Luca Ancelotti was run down and killed by person or persons unknown. Continue reading
This is for The Ride, an unreliable chronicle of my experiences in blogging. The next instalment of Fare Game will be ready tomorrow.
In the beginning, Google thought I was a typo.
I’m at the end of the first month of the block-headed project of blogging my hope-to-be novel Fare Game. There are so many things I’ve learnt, so many unexpected valuable experiences and lessons, so much I am yet to learn or even realise I am yet to learn, that to chronicle them would be tedious.
But here’s one observation I want to share … when I type ‘mickmccoy.com’ into Google’s search field it asks me, ‘Did you mean nickmccoy.com?’ If I entered ‘mick mccoy’ Google wouldn’t even be polite enough to ask the question, it would automatically tell me it was Showing results for Nick McCoy and then in micro font underneath tell me to ‘Click here for Mick McCoy’ Continue reading
This is the second instalment of Fare Game, the purpose of this blog. If you haven’t already, please click ‘Follow mcphoenix via email’ to the right to receive notifications of each new instalment.
The first instalment is available by clicking links in the Archives or Categories boxes to the right of the page. Or, there’s a two-line synopsis below.
Driver’s calling – An agitated Punter – Follow that car! – The politics of envy – Who’s in the Beemer? – The eyes have it – He’s headed to my place! – The woman in the passenger seat … is that Stephanie?
And so to the new stuff: Fare Game, the second instalment …
But despite all the evidence on the table, Driver was acutely aware of the potentially messy consequences of drawing the wrong conclusion. Of in any way acting on a misunderstanding. Few men would be less than deeply offended if another assumed, correctly or not, that his wife was fooling around on him.
So Driver decided to continue feigning ignorance, just in case the conclusions he’d leapt to were wrong. ‘Do you want to tell me what this is all about?’
But it was as if Punter didn’t hear Driver at all. He was so lost in his own thoughts, in his own anxieties and black imaginings, that Driver’s voice apparently didn’t even register. So when his question went unanswered, Driver didn’t press it further.
‘Ha,’ Punter said, a sudden but artificial lifting of the gloom evident in his voice. ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?’ He leaned even further forward and craned his neck to look directly up at the sky through the top of the wind screen. ‘I should buy ten grand worth of Italian pushbike and join you and those wanker mates of yours in their lycra, clogging up Beach Road and hogging all the tables at Café Racer.’
‘Should you?’ Driver asked him.
‘Well I can’t afford a car like his, so how else am I gunna compete? I gotta get back into shape.’
This is the first instalment of Fare Game, the purpose of this blog. If you click ‘Follow mcphoenix via email’ to the right you will receive notifications of each new instalment.
As he crossed Swanston Street the tyres of Driver’s taxi beat out a ragged rhythm against the tram lines. He loved that sound. Always had. While it served a bitter-sweet reminder of his father, more generally the industrially sprung percussion of rubber against steel rails also evoked more positive emotions. A feeling of progress, of movement and delivery, which was perhaps the main attraction of his job. And a feeling of a very particular kind of intimacy, the audience for the beat he conducted being witnessed by no one except the occupants of his cab. A feeling of connectedness to place, that sound not being replicated in quite the same way in any other town or city in the country, or in more than a handful of cities beyond. A sense that this vocation in this city was not merely a symptom of his indecision, as Minnie liked to think, or his failure to commit to what he had trained to do. Not a diversion – albeit of six years’ duration and counting – from his proper path, but rather the path. The true and proper path, regardless of what anyone else said. That sound was the self-affirming tattoo for his chosen professional life. At least, that’s what he liked to tell himself. And while all that was about to begin unravelling, for the better part of those last six years, Driver had convinced himself that was the only thing that mattered.
Coasting up the rise along Collins Street he spotted his waiting customer on the opposite footpath outside the Westin, impatience furrowing his brow and rendering him fidgety and agitated, unable to stand still. Six-three, or six-four of him shuffling from foot to foot as if the pavement was made of hot coals and embers, or as if he was busting for a piss. It brought a knowing smile momentarily to Driver’s face, one that he guessed he’d better extinguish before his passenger joined him.