I’ve seen it before
I am a writer. My business is people.
Late Saturday on King Street. One of those evenings when you squeeze in your car as many happy party focused people as you can. I don’t mind. I just let their reality overwrite mine. Their bodies replace the empty space of my car’s interior. Subtle noise of cotton or polyester swimming through the night’s air. Accidental touch of skin calling for the end of loneliness on skin screaming for the abandonment of one night sex. Humming and giggles. Uncomfortable silence. The magic of the safe space feeling when you watch the city lights from inside of a vehicle after you survived the siege of open space, noises, and unknown immediate future.
Their breath, skin, movements, eyes searching meaning in the empty space between face and rear windows, bodies filled with self-love or loathing the extra pound of flesh demanded of nowadays Shylocks, the success-currency loan sharks hiding behind every fashion and fitness magazine. All of these sacrifices, the burning butter on the altar of goddess Time.
I have seen it before and others saw this before me. It goes beyond countries, politics, or technological development. Communism or capitalism. One skin shade or many. People planning face to face their night out or crippling their human good nature with burst of written messages. An emoji will never replace a warm smile and beautiful eyes.
I have seen it before. As I start the engine, I place them each in a box large enough to fit them for the night, small enough to fit into a character description. He watches her knowing how the night will end. Ready to skip the social foreplay for the real thing. His eyes focus somewhere behind her maybe feeling the shape of the next conquest. She is in control. Her shoulders and the slight inclination of her head say so. She has a grip on reality and the next few years’ milestones of her future. She has time to give for this night out and we will use him as long as he is useful. The other she on the front seat leans on a side and turns her head to look over her shoulder at the same he. Craving. She’s full bodied and beautiful, but she feels fat and unworthy. She wants him because the ecosystem of people and information that brainwashed her into not feeling good in her own skin also marked him as the desirable male. Craving for breadcrumbs. The other he, the good guy, the perfect sidekick. People like him turn into interesting characters later on. Years later.
I have seen it before. There something inherently absurd in repeating the same mistakes.
Short disclaimer: The Journal of an Uber Driver is a work of fiction.
Long disclaimer: The literary exercise to define a nowadays character for a novel led me to create these 25 blog posts. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Any opinion expressed about Uber should not be interpreted as having a negative connotation. I admire the company as an incumbent of the platform economy and I am a registered Uber driver for research purposes.