The prompts are:
Maisie eyeballed the intricate dashboard idols and brightly colored fringe that decorated the inside of the musky cab. Incense, sweat, and traces of a cigarette smoke and vomit whirled amid waves of hot street scented air rushing through the windows. As her gaze swept over the open portals she noticed that the cab's left side view mirror was missing, not the frame and housing as if there had been a collision that swept the entire fixture away, only the mirror. It appeared to have been carefully removed. Curious, she leaned to the right of the back seat and looked at the driver's side mirror. Gone. The hairs at the back of her neck prickled like a peeved hedgehog's quills as she looked up to find the rear view mirror missing as well, the housing was exactly as it should be, simply without a mirror.
The sweat on Maisie's face cooled as a pit formed in her stomach like one of the sinkholes she had read about that could consume an entire house in seconds. Her breathing became shallow and harried as she double checked her seat belt and dug her fingers into the worn fabric of her bench seat, the honking and rumble of hundreds of cars suddenly amplified.
"So you have noticed my mirrors." The cabby grinned over his shoulder, looking like a cat with a caught whisker forcing a grimace into a grin. "Do not be worried, we do not need them."
Maisie shook her head, her eyebrows reaching toward the swaths of jewel toned fabric pinned to the ceiling. "It's not safe to drive without at least two mirrors." She licked her dry lips and looked around at the traffic slipping in and out of lanes like a bundle of snakelets slithering over and under each other, "You can't see behind you-"
"Oh you Americans, always so concerned with what's behind." The cabby laughed heartily as he zoomed around a stalled tour bus, dipping in and out of traffic with barely a glance. "So much time you spend looking back, you miss the most important things."
He crushed down the brake with both feet as traffic halted in front of him for a slew of pedestrians forcing their way across the street, Maisie felt the belt dig into her belly and braced her hands against the front seat of the cab. "Like them?" she gasped.
"Ha! No. The people come, they go, we go. That is not so significant."
Maisie frowned, "But you could run them down if you didn't stop. That would be significant."
"Ahh, so you suppose every driver, every day chooses to not kill."
Traffic lurched forward and she sat back in her seat. "Well I would hope."
"Yes, we all would hope but I do not see this. Drivers, they drive and follow rules, they don't think I have the power of death at my hands or I'm flying down these streets in a tin can that could be my coffin. That isn't on their minds. They follow rules. Traffic moves on. It is not so significant."
Maisie sighed, the tangle of anxiety and confusion leaving her feeling agitated. "Then what in the world do you call significant?" She bit off the words as she readjusted her place in the backseat, yanking on the seat belt to tighten it once more.
The cabby softly chuckled, "It is not so hard to understand. Traffic stopping for people to walk is very different from tasting your first fresh mango. You-"
"Mango. Mango?" Maisie scoffed and shook her head.
"Yes, Miss, mango. Now listen please. When you first eat a mango, you are overwhelmed, covered in sticky juice and your brain spins with the delicious taste in your mouth. Then you think about how it tastes, how you want more, you wonder how to eat without making a mess. All those thoughts following a novel experience, your brain is learning. Now that is significant. Watch your brain and body and mind learn something new, honestly relating to something not auto-pilot right past. I stop for those pedestrians on auto-pilot. So much on auto-pilot. Compulsively looking behind us is auto-pilot gone too far. Being able to experience the new in each moment, that is important. " The cabby gesticulated his left fist and forefinger, gold chains glinting with each assertive jerk of his arm as he drove with traffic over a narrow bridge across a trickle of a stream.
Maisie continued to shake he head but felt a smile creep over her face. The cabby had a point, and she felt much better thinking it was simply eccentric that legitimately crazy. "So you don't have rear view mirrors because you would rather be eating strange, new fruit?"
He beamed at her over his shoulder, "Miss, it seems you have finally got at the core of it and much faster than my licensing officer. Much faster."