Thursday, June 16, 2005

strange attractors

One of the odd things about cab driving is that, on any given night, the fact that you have gone to a particular suburb, sometimes a particular street, seems to increase the probability that you will return there. This is something I've noticed often and other drivers have remarked on it too: one guy told me recently he once had three fares in a row to the same street in Paddington. It happened to me yesterday: my first fare of the shift was to Mortdale, where I have never been before; afterwards I drove up the main drag of nearby Penshurst, again a first. About four hours later, there I was again, in Penshurst, dropping off in the exact place I had paused to look around in the afternoon. Both fares I picked up in the City, within two blocks of each other. The logic, or perhaps I should say the mechanism, of this escapes me. Why? Is there some ineluctable convergence at work, some larger, inscrutable, perhaps ultimately meaningless but nevertheless operable, fate determining our movements?