Another Name for God

“Taxiiiiiee! I'm going to The Skylite Diner on 27th off of 8th. Do you...?” “No problem, sir.” One sharp, illegal U-turn and we were on our way. I glanced at the driver's photo and taxi I.D. number in that habitually hopeless memorization of vital information to cough out to police after being overcharged for my Sucker's Tour of the Bronx. But as we swiftly zoomed towards the right destination, I euphorically explained my rendezvous for the birthday breakfast of my clarinet teacher. “You have a teacher?” “Yes- he's 80 years old today.” “You are very lucky. To have still such a teacher- you are very lucky.” “Yep,” I said. As we rolled to a stop at the corner I said, “I can walk from here.” But as I gave him the fare he said, “you know, in my country, we say, the other name for God is teacher.” From that corner to the Skylite Deli entrance, the morning light intensified and I felt and injection of insight course through my 58-year-old veins. Teacher. Another name for God.
 Excerpted from Another Name for God, Copyright Richard Stoltzman, 2015