His teeth were big and white, with spaces in between each one. His hair and beard were trimmed short. His skin was dark and his eyes had smile-lines that extended from behind the sunglasses.
Arab, I thought.
I loaded up the carriage and kids anyway and told him where we needed to go. My husband waved goodbye. "Call me the second you get there," he said.
The driver looked at me in the mirror. "Call him, he is a little afraid maybe of me."
I laughed a little, but clutched the phone.
"What is your name?" He asked Princess.
"Princess," she whispered.
"A beautiful name!" He said. He smiled. It was a very nice smile. "What a lucky girl to have such a beautiful name."
He waved at a police officer and shouted out a greeting in Arabic. The police officer answered in monotone Hebrew. "You see," he said. "He is a Bedouin. They pretend not to speak Arabic." He smiled again.
I shifted the baby, who had fallen asleep, to my other side and nudged Coco-pop, who was falling asleep.
He turned back to Princess. "Do you love Chanuka?" He said.
"Do you have a holiday like that, with lights in the winter?" I asked.
"No," he said. "But we light a fire when it is cold."
"These kind of lights are for the cold you feel inside. In your soul. You know, because of the winter and the dark. The lights make you feel like everything is going to be okay. That in the heart of winter, of sadness, it's already halfway over."
He looked thoughtful. "We light lights on Ramadan. Shaped like a moon, you know, like a banana. It is very pretty."
"It sounds pretty."
A few minutes of silence. I adjusted Coco-pop's head, which had flopped forward, and put the phone into my pocket.
"Do you dress like that?" He pointed.
I looked, but saw nothing. "Like what?"
"There was a woman, wearing clothes from top to bottom, but so tight it was like she was wearing nothing. It is not right. It is not for a woman's honor, to dress like that."
"I agree. It is not tzniut."
"What is tzniut?" He asked.
"Like...well, like what you said. A woman's honor."
We arrived. He took the stroller out and gave me change. He smiled at Princess. "Chamuda," he said. He chucked a sleepy Coco-pop under her chin.
I took the stroller from him. "Toda," I said.
"Call your husband!" He said. "He shouldn't worry."
"Toda," I said again.Do you hate me? I didn't say. How can you hate me?
I didn't say it. And then he was gone.