Dear Diary,

This is a brave new world of never having to beg a friend for a ride or leave your car at the airport to the tune of a $182 parking fee.

Instead, there’s Lyft.

(Don’t support companies that don’t respect women. Choose any other than Uber!)

Still, it’s a strange thing to have a stranger pick you up, even though I have an icon of his/her smiling face on my app letting me know that it isn’t some interloper that has pulled up to the curb thinking that this is how to pick up women.

(Which has totally happened–more than once.)

The interesting part is that everyone wants to talk–everyone! Each person has a story, some small snippet about life, that must be shared with me during our fifteen-twenty minutes of forced companionship.

Driver: Darrian

Trip: Pick up from Midtown to drop-off at the Century Arden Cinema

Total Time: 15 minutes

Image result for uber driver

Darrian:  What do you do for a living?

Me: I’m a writer. (Dude, this is not an interview nor a date. I am not telling you what I do, so then you can ask me what company, where is that, etc. My stalker list is currently full, no need to advertise for more positions.)

Darrian: Oh. That doesn’t pay much, does it?

Me: Nah, I’m pretty much a bum. (Sure! Whatever. Can we stop talking now?)

Darrian: I was once like you.

Me: Mmmhhmm? Really? (How long is this drive going to take?)

Darrian: Yep, I was once young and single and thought the world owed me everything.

Me: Ah. (Greatfatherly advice.)

Darrian: Yep. You need to get yourself a job, find yourself a man, and get focused. I mean, I don’t mean to be rude, but you ain’t gonna be pretty forever.

Me: (Wow–really?) Aww, you think I’m pretty? My sweetheart says so, too. He says I’m like a lil princess, and he just wants to lock me up in a tower somewhere.

Darrian: Did you say she?

Me: (Did I say she?Yep. (She it is!) Desdemona Fulana, the gem of my heart.

(There is blessed quiet until we mercifully arrive, where I cheerily wave him off and give him a $3.00 tip. Even assholes gotta eat.)

Driver: Rynna

Trip: Pick up from Maita Toyota to drop-off at Midtown

Total Time: 15 minutes

Me: Thanks for the pick up!

Rynna: Oh, I love driving this car. My daughter wishes that we could afford to buy six of them, one for each of us, so we could keep them all in pristine condition.

Me: (looking around carefully) This is a very, er, clean car. (It’s a Toyota Scion, but, hey lady, if you love it, then you go, girl.)

Rynna: I do keep it very clean! I even spray it out with Lysol when I have a strong-odor customer.

Me: Ah. That’s…probably a good idea. (Did I remember to wear deodorant?)

Rynna: My daughter, she’s 16, she wanted to have this car but I needed it for work. I told her, ‘Honey, you are going to have to work for your own car.’

Me: That’s good advice. (I am beginning to feel like I’ve gone down Alice’s rabbit hole, except it took a sharp turn into The Burbs.)

Rynna: What advice would you give your daughter?

Me: I don’t have a daughter. (Do I have to make up a daughter? Would this conversation be shorter if I did have one?)

Rynna: But if you did have a daughter, what would you tell her?

Me: Um, I would tell her the same thing. (Absent-minded, I think about the little curly-haired girls that will never have my eyes or my smile.)

Rynna: What same thing?

Me: I would tell her to work hard to earn her own car. (Now I’m bored, a little surly; I don’t like being trapped in circular conversations.)

Rynna:  That’s good advice.

Oh, oh, the places you’ll go, the roads you will travel, the people you’ll know!

(Whether you want to know them or not!)