Birth of Stick Shift Lyft

The same night that I had my Best Ride, I had a realization of my purpose of driving rideshare. The purpose of driving rideshare was apparent to me after that night and I only needed to find the time to pursue that purpose.

Shortly after I accepted the ride request I patiently waited at the end of a moderately long driveway for my riders.  The area was a sort of subdivision without the typical cookie-cutter, prefabrication qualities that are normal to see in suburbia.

There were 3 dudes and each seemed to be walking/ galloping/ skipping toward my vehicle at a different pace.  The riders then made the difficult decision for themselves to not all sit in my vehicle’s diminutive back seat after giving it a try.

They were pre-gaming  where I had scooped them up and I could already tell that this 12 minute ride was going to be fun for all of us. One guy seemed emotionally subdued, one was outlandishly hyper, and the third one was a little of both. The hyper one sat in the middle of the back seat straddling the backseat console with both hands on the front seat headrests.  The middle of the back seat is the best seat in the car, I guess?

Without missing much of a beat the hyper guy asked me if I had cocaine to sell them. At this point they were probably looking for the double-secret-code-response that all cocaine moguls respond with, but I clearly didn’t know it.  They signaled to each other that they would be able to find some at the bar/tavern/club that I was taking them to.

There was constant conversation between the hyper dude, myself, and the others in my vehicle for the next several minutes. At this pivotal point, as the hyper dude is bouncing in the middle back seat, he notices that I shifted from 2nd to 3rd gear with my stick shift.  He howled over the idea that my compact vehicle had a stick shift and demanded that I downshift when I slowed down.

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These guys thought my stick shift was completely hilarious, heck I thought it was hilarious as I was shining a toothy grin during the entire exchange.

Admittedly it was a big night in the southwest Chicagoland suburbs. A great night that has fueled my creativity, passion, social commentary, and love of stories. Blame the guys whom begged me to sell them cocaine for the Stick Shift Lyft blog!

Best Ride To Date, Woman Tells Me of How She Was Beaten Badly, Stop At the Trailer Park, And Back, Part I

This is the post excerpt.

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.

Trailers.png
 

Not actual trailer park labyrinth

 

 

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…