A Lyft Line sickly symphony, the chinchilla at TJ’s, and my friend joins me for an Uber Eats run

#Lyft Line

That time my car was a symphony of illness

I kept yawning. Another passenger kept sneezing. A second passenger hiccuped, filling the air with the smell of beer. The guy next to me coughed continually.

We were an unwell Lyft bunch if there ever was one. I briefly felt pride at our joint contributions to the Symphony of Sickliness.


Lyft Thought: Relax, Doggo: Chinchilla’s Not After your Girlfriend

On my way back to the car carrying two Trader Joe’s bags, I walk past a Toyota pulling out from a parking spot. A red convertible is waiting to take the Toyota’s spot. When the queued driver and I make eye contact, he gives me the same look that I scorch drivers with after they steal a spot I’ve spent minutes waiting for. Some might call that look a competitive glare.

First I wonder if the driver can see that I’m a person and not a car (therefore his spot won’t be of any use to me). I wonder if he thinks I was about to steal his spot with my body. I wonder if he realizes that he and I are not on the same playing field— like, at all.

An image comes to mind, of a dog glaring malevolently at a chinchilla because he thinks the chinchilla’s about to steal his girlfriend.

Glaring at another dog would be understandable. Glaring at a moose would be too—because moose are bigger than dogs, and can cause them physical harm.

But a chinchilla?

What’s the furry rodent going to do? Impress the girlfriend with a giant dust bath performance? Pull out a step-stool afterwards so that they can be at eye level when they share their first kiss?

No need to worry, Sir—your spot is safe, I attempt to communicate with my eyes.

*Maybe the driver was glaring at me for another reason. Or maybe that was just his face and not personal towards me at all. Either way, I had fun briefly thinking about chinchillas.


#Lyft Quote

*If you’re not apologizing to someone yearly, something’s wrong. You should be saying sorry to someone at least once for every year that you’ve been alive.”

—Passenger with baby blue eyes that matched a baby-blue collared shirt. His parents never apologized to him and his siblings. He learned on his own, through educating himself on God.


#Lyft Quote: / Things Kids Say

“The ugliest part of this picture is the wires. They ruin nature.”

—A 7-year-old boy looking at the picture that he and his family have just taken together out on a hiking trail


Cultural Collision

“White girls taught me veganism but my Latina grandma taught me pan dulce.”

–Passenger talking about a vegan pan dulce bakery she’d just discovered


#Uber Eats Tales: That time my friend accompanied me

“Do you ever try to guess what the passenger’s going to look like? Based on their name and what they ordered?” my friend asked me.

Shout-out and thank you to my friend Katie for joining me!

Of course! Don’t our minds do this automatically? 

“Yeah! The anticipation builds over the course of the ride,” I tell her.

We’d just picked up a baked potato with bacon and cheddar cheese along with a bowl of chili and a burger for “Su” at a bar in the Mission.

Earlier we’d made a chaotic pick-up at Papa Johns (the street was very busy, but with nowhere to pull over, I double-parked and my friend ran in). The car still smelled like pizza now as we embarked on the journey to Bernal Heights with our baked potato passenger in tow.

A lean guy with brown hair and some scruff dressed in a basic white t-shirt received the potato from us. Not how we’d envisioned Su. We’d pictured her as a middle-aged, possibly Southern woman.

For the remainder of the journey, “Who’s it gona be next? What will they order? Where will they take us??” were questions that predominated.  

Together, my friend and I came up with ways to keep track of whose orders were whose “Tank just had the one pizza. Hung had three.” My friend: “Hung hungry, got it.”

–> For all the people who don’t want to endure the traffic, low-ish pay, and stress of San Franciso streets to drive Uber Eats themselves, there should be a video game that could allow them to take part in this experience.


Photo credits

Baked potato–https://www.onionringsandthings.com/twice-baked-potatoes/

Published by esteph42190

A 30-year-old queer bilingual writer born and raised in the Bay Area, I’ve been writing since before I knew how to spell. Balancing my generative energy with a desire to inform, as a child I printed and distributed to classmates publications that included The News Newsletter and Health Digest (ironic considering I also ran an illicit candy business that landed me in the principal’s office several times). As a student at UC Davis I wrote for The California Aggie, with pieces ranging from an exploration of gender roles in the movie Tangled to my own weekly psychology column. After graduating I kept a bilingual blog of my 14 months living in Montevideo, Uruguay, and upon returning continued to blog about social issues and human psychology.

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