T H E | L I F E | OF AN | U B E R | D R I V E R (Book)
Monday 8:50 am
Me: (Pulling up in the Uber, I was observing a person standing in front of a fast food restaurant.)
Chelsea: (Fumbling with the car door. She fell into the backseat.) Urgh!
Me: (Looking through my rear-view mirror.) Uh… Chelsea?
Chelsea: (Soft grunt in agreeance.) Uh huh.
Me: (Swiping my Uber app to start the trip.) Uh Chelsea, sorry to bother you, but I don’t have a destination for you.
Chelsea: (Slurring.) Drive to the sea.
Me: (Raising my eye brows surprised.) As in the ocean, the coast?
Chelsea: Yeah, just drive.
Me: You live that far out?
Chelsea: Uh huh.
Me: I hope you don’t think I’m prying, I’m just making sure.
Chelsea: No, no, just shh. (Putting her hand on my shoulder.) I get it, I’m drunk, and you are just making… (Falling asleep midsentence.)
Me: (Speaking out loud to myself.) “Here I was thinking this is Monday morning, expect an airport run.” (Shaking my head, laughing to myself.) We drove and drove all the way without talking, finally hitting the coastline. I thought ‘actually a bit of fresh air whilst intoxicated wouldn’t be bad for her,’ so I rolled down my windows.
Chelsea: (Waking up from a jolting snore, she wiped off saliva from her mouth, sitting up.) Where am I?
Me: Um…you’re in your Uber.
Chelsea: No, I know that but why are we by the ocean?
Me: Well, when you got into the Uber you didn’t have a destination put in.
Chelsea: (Pulling out a small compact make-up mirror.)
Me: So, I asked you where you were headed and you said for me to drive towards the sea.
Chelsea: Ohhhh….no, not to the sea, to my bestie.
Me: Ah, come again?
Chelsea: My best friend. I had her contacts in my Uber app, but Siri, or whoever, must not have understood me when I tried to put it into the Uber destination.
Me: (Thinking, ‘I didn’t know Siri worked on the Uber app as their voice control. Chelsea was definitely intoxicated if she thought that.’) Oh I’m…
Chelsea: No, don’t say it, I hate when people say sorry and it isn’t their fault. I didn’t put my destination into the trip thingamajig.
Me: Ah okay, do you want me to turn around and head to your best friends?
Chelsea: (Sniffing quickly.)
Me: Ah Chelsea? (Looking in the back seat at her, as I heard the sniff.)
Me: Are you doing…?
Chelsea: (Typing her destination into the app.) Yeah, I am! Do you want some?
Me: (My phone beeping with the updated destination.) Ah, nah not quite what I was going to say. (Looking at her offering, with her arm stretched out.)
Chelsea: (Dabbing more of the contents out of her compact mirror onto the back of her hand.) Well your loss; more for meeeee! (Sniffing.)
Me: (Looking at the updated destination and the route to get us there.) Chelsea, this is just two minutes away from here?
Chelsea: Yeah, I figured why waste a good time at the beach when I’m already down here.
Me: (Shaking my head in amazement.) You are so free, one minute you are sleeping in the back of an Uber and then next it’s a day at the beach.
Chelsea: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Me: Did you make that up just now?
Chelsea: (Laughing.) No, Helen Keller did.
Me: You are definitely one of my more interesting rides.
Chelsea: Thank you, as are you. I always feel like Uber Drivers have lived so many lives. You are all so interesting with amazing backgrounds and views on life.
Me: That’s kind of you. (Thinking to myself that I had hardly spoken to her.) I am happy to be driving you, Miss Chelsea.
Chelsea: (Pointing while smiling.) I’m just there up ahead.
Me: (Pointing as well.) By that turn off, near that pole?
Me: (Pulling over.) It has truly been a…
Chelsea: (Cutting me off.) Adventure!
Me: That it has.
Chelsea: (Reaching her hand for my shoulder and barely touching it.) It doesn’t have to end here.
Me: Ah, but it does. (Thinking ‘that was the cheesiest offer. How am I going to go out with you to the beach when just a second ago you were snoring and drooling on yourself?’)
Chelsea: Well, again that’s your…
Me: (Finishing her sentence.) Loss?
Chelsea: (Laughing as she’s opening the door.)
Me: (Looking back and turning to say goodbye.) Take care of yourself Chelsea. I mean that.
Chelsea: (Peeping her head into the backdoor before shutting it.) You too, Mr Colburn.
Me: Wow! (My mouth open agape, wondering how the hell she caught my Miss Chelsea reference.)
Chelsea: (Walking in front of the car, her hand trailing the front of the Uber. She headed towards the sand as her hair started tossing and turning in the air like a wave in the ocean.)
Me: (Talking out loud to myself) She’s really something. (Swiping end to her ride, and turning my music on.) Hoke Colburn…who’d have thought she’d know who drove Miss Daisy. Turning around, I headed back for the city. Forty-five minutes later a beep on my Uber app came through indicating the next Client request.