talesfromthelyft

A view from the driver's seat

I’m Not a Player

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This pink mustache is a regular man magnet. For reals. I had my first drive by pick up attempt the other day. OK, so he was in a beat up black Honda with a cracked windshield but he was kinda cute in a slick Armenian Errol Flynn kind of way. He drove up beside me and honked his horn. When I looked, he pointed to the front of my car and then rubbed a finger along the top of his lip, touching his own thin mustache. After picking my jaw up off the steering wheel, I kind of grinned back, which emboldened him to match my speed as we zoomed down Franklin. I thought of hitting the gas pedal and trying to lose him but that seemed a little too Fast and Furious for me. So instead, I averted my eyes and made the next left. He honked goodbye and kept going straight. Thank god. The line between flirting and stalking can be so thin.

Sometimes on my late weekend shifts, I’ll pick up a drunk guy who’ll ask if I want to “kick it.” Oh yeah, sure. Let’s just pull over at the next bar, slam down some Sex on the Beach, I’ll keep the meter running, and we can start kicking boots. “Dear Penthouse, last night I got this Lyft, if you know what I mean…” I get it — I’m the last port of call. They gotta make one more valiant effort before they call it a night. So I’m not offended. I just smile and say sorry, not tonight. I’m working. And at the end of the night, when they fumble in the car with their phone trying to figure out how to pay, I look over their shoulder and coo, “You can add more if you like.” Hint hint. Hey, I think I earned it.

But on Tuesday, I got my first Lyft crush. I picked him up from Union Station to take him back to USC. He was over 6 feet of strapping Cali surfer cuteness, shaved head, light green eyes. Usually, USC guys are usually business or engineering students and they either have the brash, big energy of boys pretending to be men or they’re little puppies wagging their tails, sweet but dopey. This one, ah, this one. He had a feline quality, and an ease which is rare in the under 25 set. He told me he was an English major with a minor in environmental studies. When I expressed surprise, he explained that he felt like you could specialize in business later and get an MBA, so it was important to take some time to just explore other interests, to wander and learn. So, a surfer reading Hemingway, Faulkner, Kathy Acker (which we both weren’t crazy about) who wanted to do something with solar power. Sigh — the total package. He kept on looking at me as I was driving. It’s weird to be unable to look back, especially when you’re engaged in conversation (Gotta keep my eyes on the road). There’s something distinctly female about being observed that sometimes bothers me, but this time it didn’t. Cause he was sweet. Cause he wasn’t asking me to kick it. Cause I wasn’t the last port or any port. I was someone he found interesting. I was someone interested in him.

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