Romance Lottery: Uber Storytime

You exit a bar and you find yourself walking a couple of blocks just to get the fare estimate down. There’s raucous on the sidewalk at the crack of dawn, and it’s you and your friends trying to figure out the promo code to Uber—that is until one of you is thrown out of…an app.

That supercon you’ve been waiting for is this weekend, and you’d rather drink and stay until that ID- required burlesque show. You’re in the bathroom, because it’s a long ride and all, and your tracking your Uber that just glided off the road and magically slide into its way. It gets lost and that always funny for some reason, except for when you’re running late and you need to get there pronto.

You were in an accident and the bus ride to class would take, in all, about four hours—going. That’s not taking into account the coming back. And so you ask yourself is it worth it? You pull up the app on your phone, manually type in your address (because GPS always messes it up), do a fare estimate, and in seconds your Uber is on its way.

Most of us know this uneventful affair, I mean we had taxis before Ubers, but for some reason I never really thought much would come from an Uber ride. Usually I get the talkers—which are fine, it’s entertaining, and my first couple of rides were always like that. Plus, they were all hispanics. Usually, I would get older males, and a female here and there.

So, the Uber pulls up to my house, a little ways off because darn GPS messes everything up. The Uber guy, we’re going to call him Q, confirms the destination, except he asks it so low that I make him repeat it twice. You know when someone asks you a question and you go , “What?” and the repeat it again, and again you, “What? I’m sorry I didn’t hear you,” so they reiterate it, and by the third time you make a nonchalant noise, head motion, because you’re to embarrassed to make them repeat it a third time. Well, finally I stop breathing and hear him and we proceed with our journey.

We get on the high way and he starts making small talk and the thing is that he is speaking so low, like whispery tendrils that you hope to catch and reel in. Now, lets do the math here: we’re in the highway, Q is talking super low, so where does that leave me? The traction of the tire is louder than his voice, louder than the song that really isn’t there because he has it lower than his own voice, and so I am straining. When I say straining I mean that I literally (and I mean literally) in between the arm rest, my head almost poking out of the seats.

There was a lot of small talk. Then we got talking about our jobs, and life. How life is stressful, and really there’s so much to do and so little time. “Time is just going by so quick, and really I’m not enjoying it,” I tell him. “Like my friends texted me earlier, about catching a movie today and I am stressing because it just isn’t doable for me. I have three exams, homework for the coming days, and I have to study. Did I mention work? I honestly have no time at all, not even for friends.”

When I say this I’m making conversation, I’m actually sharing some part of my day. Q, though, must have taken it for something else. By the time I see The Building (the building that I know marks the ‘you’re there, time to put on your lipstick/lipgloss’) and he asks me, “So, do you have a boyfriend?”

For some reason I think he’s still making small talk, like just a mere passing by question.

I laugh, “No, remember how I was telling you about not even having time for friends? Like much less a boyfriend. He’d probably leave me, with how little I would see him, if there even was a day I would.”

“Oh.” Pause. “Well, would you like to go to a movie?”

I look off into the distance. I search for the camera, and do The Face. You know The Face. “Uhm. Like. Right. Okay. I just can’t. I can’t even go today with my friends. I’m actually going to have to say no, because you know….no time…”

He laughs, long and soft. “But maybe at like 7 am?” He snickers.

Mind you, I had told Q that I like to sleep. If I have a day off I sleep and nobody can take that from me. Not even a friend inviting to meet Dylan O’Brien at 7am…okay, maybe I would but you get the point.

Finally, after much heckling and really not my proudest moments I gave him my number….I know! I’m sorry, I’m working on it.

Did he text me? Yes. 30 minutes into class and then the next day.

Then, the next day—a day I don’t usually go on Uber, I had to get a ride because of circumstances and what I thought was just a weird occurrence happens again….but I’ll leave that story for another time.

What is the craziest thing that has happened to you on a Uber ride?

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