07 October 2015

Tonight on Uber: I Should Have Known From the Start

scionA gentleman solicits a ride in a rural pocket of dead end neighborhood near Union Hills and 28th St, the dirt road muddied by the concurrent rain storm. He stumbles out of an anonymous home with arm loads of disheveled luggage.

I should have known from the start.

He dumps his items in the back seat and informs me he needs to go pee before we leave. Rather than going back inside, he unzips 8 inches from my car and relieves himself. At least his back is turned.

I should have known from the start.

Before we stop at the first traffic light, I am up to speed on the intimate details of his personal life. Not knowing exactly how to console a 68 year old man sobbing in my passenger seat, I offer a brief pat on the shoulder and redirect the conversation.

I should have known from the start.

Classic rock is his forte, so I rapidly locate KLSX. He excitably takes control of the stereo. I have never seen my stereo display “max volume”. I have never been more thankful for steering wheel volume control. Thank you, dear passenger, for informing me that my stereo is not very good. Your suggestion to upgrade to an $1000 Bose system in my $3000 Scion is dually noted.

I should have known from the start.

The fun lasts until the song reminds him of his late father, and everyone else who has passed away in the last twenty years. Grief can only be solved one way at a time like this: more booze. 

Upon request, we roll into Circle K. He withdraws his wallet and flips through hundreds of dollars in cash, implying I make his beer run for him. Quickly scanning what I will remove from my car and take in with me, I ask him what he wants. Since he cannot decide between wine and a six pack of Corona, he decides to run the errand himself.

Natty Light is neither Corona nor wine.

Before I can stop him, he cracks one open and toasts to his brother. My concern about the open container in my vehicle diminishes as he pours it out the window in the gas station parking lot. Superstition has it that dumping some on the ground allows the toast to transcend into the afterlife.

I should have known from the start.

The final two miles launch a series of rapid fire juxtapositions.

Accusations of taking longer routes to rack up fares are unsubstantiated by failure to articulate a preferred route.

Desires to drive all night to Vegas are confused by vociferous concern over the cost of the current $14 fare.

Drunk dials to “Sherry Circle K” are veiled by demands for marital reconciliation prayers while parked in the driveway.

Fears of facing his mother are lost with the invitation to join them inside at 10:30 PM and eat her  “killer menudo”.


No comments:

Post a Comment