You Look Like Dollars

This says something about you if you know what I am talking about. A guy driving a car, sometimes a cab or an Uber, sometimes not, stops for a woman on the sidewalk. She conveniently walks up to the front passenger window. They chat for a bit, the gist of which is that she’s willing to trade sex for a ride. It happens. The video stops before she gets to her destination. The video was never about the ride.

uk drunk womenI became a cab driver at age 21. I was the youngest member of Taxi Unlimited up to that point. Even then it mattered that my passengers got where they were going and I got paid. Later on Taxi Taxi got the contract to carry abused women to secret shelters. We were under contractual agreement to keep the shelter location and the details of the ride secret. Most of these rides were short. I did them happily.

Uber launched in Richmond in August 2014. I was one of the drivers who started at the launch. Very quickly I developed a trade carrying drunk, young women home from that night’s debauchery. There were some women from the University of Richmond who wondered if I would cross that line and do the porn trope that started this post. I will not. My job depends on the trust of the women who ride with me. My sense of right & wrong does not include my fat ass nekkid and dancing the horizontal bop with a young woman who began as an Uber rider.

There have been court cases in Houston, Chicago and other cities of Uber drivers who went there. They slept with (?raped?) a rider. Those guys were convicted in at least one case. They deserve the sentencing and labeling as a sexual predator. Assholes.

Riders look like money to me. I know that if I complete the ride I get money. I know that my bills are a bottomless, hungry maw I have to keep shoveling cash into. Riders are one way I get that cash. So, the UofR women and men who toyed with the fantasy in the porn trope are asking me to give up my money for some bump & grind. The ask is too big.

On initial contact with a rider I care about four things, am I going to get paid, is this rider safe, how much trouble will it be to get them out of the car at the end, and do they want to talk? I care about doing my job well. As the ride proceeds I care about completing the ride well. But, you, dear customer, do I care about you? Not really.

So, if this is now an unpaid incident with you, I need you gone ASAP. I actually like it if you cuss me out and storm off. It’s faster that way. Plus, if you had ideas about robbing me, I, pissed off and rude, don’t make an easy target. Gun? You better fire that thing in the first 5 seconds. If I have a chance to take it from you I will. As I do, I’m going to hurt you. Then when the cops show up I’m going to cry like a little bitch that you tried to kill me. You owe me $120.00 for the 2-3 hours I have to waste dealing with you and the cops.

Badly behaved customers make better content. Nobody really cares about the majority that get in my cab, get driven where they are going, pay me and get out. The customers that get remembered are people like Mary Garst, who wanted me to cut down a pecan tree in the front yard of a home in the Berkeley Hills. Or the guy who wouldn’t get out of my cab until I got out and began to wait for a bus to take me home and decided to also wait for a bus. Or the thirty-something puking customer. Or the coke-psychotic guy who spent $500.00 riding around the Bay Area to escape aliens who were spying on him.

Beyond you who are my present task, I care about getting home safely tonight with enough money. That frat boy fantasy of some beers with a hot, docile sorority sister, the porn trope one, is a nightmare for me. I lose the time it takes to traverse the narrative from, “do ya wanna” to blissful exhaustion. Time is money so it is money lost. I also lose whatever I spend on the way to cuddling after. Plus, and this is huge, there are so many ways that this could go south for me that it just isn’t’ worth it. I need to get you where you are going, get paid, get you out of my car, and get to the next ride.

 

Share

SumYung HotTea

First Posted 27-Nov-2014

She isn’t anyone specific. She’s a porn trope, if anything. Nubile, servile, likes to get drunk and high, shameless hussy and for me, dark brown hair, olive skin, blue eyes, and petite. The girl of this narrative was a damsel in distress. Her boyfriend had beaten her again, had kicked her out, in a cocaine fueled meltdown in which he accused her of stealing all his coke and sleeping with his best friend. I can believe the stolen coke bit. She was bisexual so the cheating thing may not be all that the boyfriend thought it was. She was homeless, needed a place to stay for a couple days, and thought I’d let her stay with me.

party-girl-3SumYung HotTea starts her stay on Wednesday night in the other bedroom and it’s about normal. Then on Friday, “would it be ok if her lesbian girlfriend came over?” She decides to cook an elaborate meal for said girlfriend. Steak, shrimp cocktail, green beans,  baked mac & cheese and chocolate mousse. We go to Save-A-Lot to shop for all this. She starts cooking at 1pm for a 6pm service to the girlfriend. We eat at 9pm. The kitchen is a mess. She burns the mac & cheese so bad the pot she used is ruined. She still tried to serve it. They go into the other bedroom at 11:30pm. I smell weed. I hear arguing. One of them has old L.L. Cool J. rap playing low. By 1pm I am asleep and the house is quiet.

I’m a dishwasher by trade. I’m also a foodie and sometime line cook. Her menu is an hour, tops, including prep and cleanup. 8 hours to make a mess of my kitchen and leave me with an overdone steak, watery green beans, burned mac & cheese with nasty curdled eggs and instant chocolate pudding spattered on my kitchen walls from her attempt at whipping it into a mouse isn’t fun or sexy. No hint of her showing interest in the mess she made. “It’ll be great.” No, it wasn’t great. Pissed me off.

Saturday morning I don’t see them. I do my usual, keeping NPR streaming in a window on my laptop. I get ansty and head out for coffee. I’m back by 3pm or so. I’m mad. I live in a neighborhood that is trying to shed itself of addiction and all the satellite crime that comes with it. My lease specifically says drug use is a violation of the terms and cause for eviction. Plus, with the ways that I am a hot mess I can’t do addicts. Recovering addicts, maybe. Actively using addicts? No.

SumYung HotTea resurfaces around 4:30pm Saturday. She looks like hell. She has a fat lip. Her neck has finger marks on it. I ask her if she’s ok and I get hairy eyeballs and a flipped bird.

I let her in assuming that she’d heard me when I said she could only stay a few days until she could find another place to crash. Now it’s been a week and my weekend featured my own personal porn trope that was the furthest thing from sexy. It was drama. I didn’t see most of it. Instead of a personal sex-tape with two hot lesbians I had one of them still in my house hungover with a fat lip.

Saturday night was quiet. She spent most of it in the other room watching YouTube videos of various rap artists. I went to church Sunday and knew I couldn’t let her stay any longer. Between the addiction and the apparent abuse I had she brought two of the four horsemen that destroy relationships into my home. She had made my house unsafe. She had to go.

At church I talked to a couple friends who volunteered to come over and help me make it clear that she had to leave right then. It was an angry hour as she told me what a shit I was for kicking her out. She left, though, and my house settled back into it’s usual calm.

I want to help. I want to serve those who can be served. I am also deeply broken with a past that I am not only but I am. That past means I choose to live an intentional life with boundaries that keep me safe. I’m sorry SumYung HotTea suffered for my failure to recognize my own limits and allow her into my home. But, the blog posts that this one stands in for remind me that I made the right choice. It might make a great porn video to have two sexy lesbians smoke weed, get drunk, play rap music and have sex with fat old man. It’s a really stupid thing to attempt IRL. SumYung HotTea’s been gone a year and that’s good.

Share