I thanked my driver for finding me. I was at Target, but the Uber app was directing him to a flower shop in the same plaza. It’s safe to say that at this time at night, Target was the only option. And oh, what a night it was.
I got a notification that one driver was on the way but he canceled. I never know if that means I’ll have a shorter or a longer time, but this person accepted the ride and it was exactly the same wait, so at least I wasn’t stuck there for another 25 minutes. I was taking chances going on a Friday night, but I’m battling a pretty gnarly thrush episode. This is probably happening because I got antibiotics with my right foot surgery, plus I’m giving myself 2 biologic injections, plus I have only half my immunoglobulins, so my body was like, hey, I think it’s time for an overgrowth of candida. So THEN my body is like hey, maybe we can die like a rock star! I have been waking up in the middle of the night because I’m choking and strangling on whatever is coming back up. While I’m awake I can’t keep any food or pills down and it’s really painful; there are spasms down my entire GI tract. So I had to go and get meds. And while out for meds, I thought what the hell, let’s get other supplies too. I may not be out and about for another six months.
But right before this driver got me, a funny thing happened. I was watching this guy. He was not unknown to me. I had actually seen him in action about a dozen times before, and security always chased him off. He’s an addict, looking for money for his fix. I would feel sad for him, but…nothing. I feel nothing. I have very specific reasons for this, and we can discuss it if you want to, but I am not about to strip myself naked and hand over all that I have in order for him to get his $10-80 hit.
So while I’m standing in my spot for about 10 minutes waiting for my ride and I’m watching him strike out with about 6 or 7 different parties, he finally starts walking over to me and raising his voice, saying something about his car getting stolen. I don’t let it get very far. Maybe 8 or 9 words? And I start yelling, “DON’T YOU COME OVER HERE WITH THAT SHIT. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO. DON’T ASK ME FOR ANYTHING. NO WAY.” And he says in a meek tone, “Well, that’s not how Jesus – ” and I say, “DON’T YOU START THAT JESUS SHIT WITH ME. NO WAY. I’M NOT HAVING IT. DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT SHIT. NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO.” I notice a couple of guys who were just standing over to the side smoking give me a couple of side eyes and beat it. That guy slinks off and tries to hit one more couple in the parking lot, then I watch him as he weaves in and out and then gets the hell out of there. So people shopping at Central Mesa Target, you’re welcome. You get the night off.
When I got in the car with my driver, he warned me that he was on the phone holding for Uber support, because he couldn’t see any cash incentives. It was a long hold time, nearly the entire ride. He told me that he had twins, a boy and a girl, and they were going to be seniors next year. Get this: His daughter plays violin, clarinet, and taught herself some piano, just like me. Holy moly! But she really is a shining star. Her school has a really robust marching band program and she’s a majorette, and she’s also going to be directing the band.
It wasn’t a long ride, and just as we were about 4 blocks away from my place, Uber support answered. The gist of the conversation was that he didn’t see any incentives because he didn’t have any incentives. This is nutty to me. This is Phoenix, it’s a holiday weekend, and people are kind of itching to get out. I feel like there is work to be had out there. Why are there no incentives? They aren’t shy any other time. The way they keep restructuring and changing the rules leaves a lot to be desired. When I was exiting the car, I wished the driver to have money raining down. Not having any incentives was a source of stress, I could tell. That’s when drivers have to sit back and say, do I stay out and bust my ass and hope for something better, or do I accept that it’s not going to get any better than it is, and I put the car away for the night?
No one ever tells us that no matter what, including age, experience, and experimentation, we don’t always have The Answer. Sometimes we just scribble some shit and hope for the best.
Grace by Eric Enstrom – Hang this in your kitchen
We’re All Mad Here – Alice In Wonderland Duvet Cover