If he (The New York Taxi Driver) talked to me, he might lose his concentration, which would be very bad because the taxi has some kind of problem with the steering, probably dead pedestrians lodged in the mechanism, the result being that there is a delay of 8 to 10 seconds between the time the driver turns the wheel and the time the taxi actually changes direction, a handicap that the driver is compensating for by going 175 miles per hour, at which velocity we are able to remain airborne almost to the far rim of some of the smaller potholes.
I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song.
Sometimes I get drunk and I get into arguments with taxi drivers. And I get out the cab and I slam the door. That's not the way to win an argument with a taxi driver. The way to win is you get out of the cab and you leave the door open. And then he has to step out and come around and close that door. And while he's doing that, I'm on the other side opening the other doors-and we just go around and around and around, and I got my own Benny Hill situation going on in life.
Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it - I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
I saw 'Taxi Driver,' and 'Taxi Driver' kind of saved my life. The scene where Robert De Niro is looking at himself in the mirror saying, 'You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Who the hell else are you talkin' to?' That's the scene that changed my life by changing my attitude about acting.
Again I take a taxi to Clichy address, but feel that I do not want to go on loving Henry more actively than he loves me (having realized that nobody will ever love me in that overabundant, overexpressive, overthoughtful, overhuman way I love people), and so I will wait for him. So I ask taxi driver to drop me at the Galeries Lafayette, where I begin to look for a new hat and to shop for Christmas. Pride? I don't know. A kind of wise retreat. I need people too much. So I bury my gigantic defect, my overflow of love, under trivialities, like a child. I amuse myself with a new hat.
He had a charm about him sometimes, a warmth that was irresistible, like sunshine. He planted Saffy triumphantly on the pavement, opened the taxi door, slung in his bag, gave a huge film-star wave, called, "All right, Peter? Good weekend?" to the taxi driver, who knew him well and considered him a lovely man, and was free. "Back to the hard life, " he said to Peter, and stretched out his legs. Back to the real life, he meant. The real world where there were no children lurking under tables, no wives wiping their noses on the ironing, no guinea pigs on the lawn, nor hamsters in the bedrooms, and no paper bags full of leaking tomato sandwiches.
Maybe we should go by tube', he said. A taxi'll come', she said. 'I'm in no hurry'. She remembered something a woman in Paris had told her once. A woman in her forties, much married, elegant, a little world-weary. There is nothing easier in this world, this woman had claimed, than getting a man to kiss you. Oh really? Eva had said, so how do you do that? Just stand close to a man, the woman has said, very close, as close as you can without touching - he will kiss you in one minute or two. It's inevitable. For them it's like an instinct - they can't resist. Infaillible. So Eva stood close to Romer in the doorway of the shop on Frith Street as he shooted and waved at the passing cars moving down the dark street, hoping one of them might be a taxi. We're out of luck', he said, turning, to find Eva standing very close to him, her face lifted. I'm in no hurry', she said. He reached for her and kissed her.