The further I drive from the city, the farther out I eventually get from the city. Or, as I enter the adjacent suburbs there exists a great likelihood that I will enter far flung suburbs.
After several short rides, I found myself in Burbank, far from my starting location. I accepted the next ride and pulled up to the address.
As I sat patiently in the car at 2:00am, I watched as the shadow of a male walked out from the apartment complex that I was parked adjacent to. He approached my driver side window, I became uneasy, as everyone in my first 700 rides has approached a different door.
The guy then motions me to lower my window and he anxiously asks “Do you know how to get to…Trailer Park…” My response was just “…put the address in the app, I’ll get you there.” Unfortunately I had to repeat my response a couple of ways, before our conversation concluded.
The customer was wearing an adolescent mustache and one of those straight-brimmed baseball caps that teenagers mistakenly believe to be fashionable.
From the parking lot then appeared a female figure walking toward my car. She got in, and sat directly behind me. She was my rider and not the guy with mistake of a mustache and the edgy hat- what a relief! Within a couple of moments we were stopped at a highway intersection, and our conversation got raw.
My rider told me about how her “boyfriend” beat her so brutally that he had killed the fetus growing within her. About the time that I was going to ask, she said her “ex-boyfriend” was being moved to a different prison. The guy that I met was not the perpetrator, remarkably she seemed to be mixing up the terms “boyfriend” and “ex-boyfriend”. We were probably at the stop light for about one and a half minutes, but it felt like 15. Completely uncomfortable and unable to flee from the situation, I stated,
“We’ve been waiting at this intersection for quite a while, I am just going to blow this red light”
Five minutes later we were driving around in a labyrinth trailers.
The rideshare app had gotten us to the correct trailer park, but now it was up to my rider to determine which trailer row, and specific trailer housed her baby. All the rows of trailers looked similar without natural sunlight and the street lighting was ambient instead of utility. We stopped at a trailer which was just as nondescript as any other, sans an obligatory patriotic flag, potted plant, or wind sock. About 10 minutes after dropping her off, she reemerged with her one-year-old baby in a baby carriage along with that night’s babysitter, her cousin.
A baby, a 20-year old woman, and Stick Shift Lyft: we buckle-up and head back to her apartment complex.
To be continued…