On the shuttle between the rental car place and the airport, I encountered the driver, named Gust. “Like a gust of wind, fellas…” was his bellow to me and the other passenger. He was hale and hearty and ruddy and white-haired and all that stuff. “Gotta get my shades on fellas. It’s a real sunny day! Wasn’t supposed to be sunny, was supposed to be cloudy!”

We sat in silence, neither of us having much to say. Gust began to drive, and then began to sing “Danny Boy.” Quietly at first, as if he was humming to himself, but frequently building to enormously loud crescendoes. He had a very nice voice, in fact, with vibrato, melisma, and tremolo. Neither of us looked at each other, and it felt somehow both uncomfortable and simultaneously kinda neat. The singing continued uninterrupted, except for quick exchanges on the radio with the other shuttle drivers “Lawrence Road? You’re creeping up on me you bastard!” or a seamless shift from lyrics to cussing “Damn! Sons of bitches” when the other folks on the road were too slow. By the time we approached the airport (“Nearly there fellas”) he had shifted into “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and was actually getting rather lounge-y in moments, punctuating his singing lines with the occasional spoken “Okay…”


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