Today I had eight connected rides. Less than a minute between them. Eight faces of eight people that somehow got identified with the faces of other passengers from not so long ago.
I think the number of faces in this world is limited. There are just so many combinations of jawlines, lips, noses, eyes, forehead heights, colors and lengths of hair. Also it could be my peculiar pattern recognition failing to give me enough data while driving.
Looking at people and imagine the story of their life as a way to get inspired for new characters is not going well together with being a driver. Maybe because I don’t get enough face time to build something upon my perception.
Not enough face time… denying my history that is. Truth is I hate looking over my shoulder. I associated with looking in the past. And my past is not a happy place.
Memory has its own defense mechanism in selecting only pleasant facts, but once you grow old and put things in perspective you discover that you lived in communism and it was ugly. You lived in a cultural and social censorship and those years of youth and easy learning are gone. The effort you have to do now in order to learn new things is exhausting. There isn’t enough time to read hundreds of authors you missed, to visit places, to look at new people faces.
Once you discover how big this world is, that emptiness in your chest grows ten thousand times fold.
I can’t breathe. I just can’t breathe!
With my hands clenching the steering wheel tight, I take a right on Dundas and park underground. I stumble my way to AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, and hold my breath trying to compose myself. I enter and go to the right. In front of a Van Gogh, I let the poisoned air from my lungs out. I feed on the on colors and shades and the life squeezed in the shapes by the creator. I inhale, exhale. The pain fades. Another half an hour in front of a Monet and the world makes sense again.
How do you make peace with you past? How do you prepare for the future?
How do you love your life the right way?
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.