Lots of passengers ask me the same thing, “Have you ever gotten a crazy?” I always say, no, everyone’s been great. But now, I’m happy — well not happy happy — to say that I have finally gotten a crazy.
When I picked him, he didn’t seem all that crazy. He was dressed in classic douche, a blazer over a T-shirt. He was drunk enough to slur the ends of his words but he didn’t seem that intoxicated. He got into the back and asked to move the passenger seat forward since he was over 6 feet. We chatted a little about our nights, he was unhappy with the crowd at the bar that he was at, the comedians jockeying for attention. He mentioned that he had heard something that resonated with him — that whatever makes you uncomfortable is the thing that you need to face in yourself. I probed a little, asking what recently had made him uncomfortable. He mumbled, a break up. Yup, those break ups.
We got off the 101 and I was about to make a right toward the corner that he had previously told me he was going when he piped up, “Make a left.” I did as he asked, even though it wasn’t in the right direction. Perhaps he wanted to pick up food, or go another route. It was his ride.
Suddenly he yelled, “You’re going in the wrong direction!”
“I thought so, but you told me to make a left so I did. That’s fine. We can turn around.” I u-turned the car. No big deal.
“How can you not know your right from your left?” he roared.
I glanced in the back seat, thinking he must be joking. Weren’t we just having a normal conversation? But when I saw his face, I saw he wasn’t joking. The farthest thing from joking. He was enraged. I mean, really In Rage. Like eye popping, face reddening rage.
“C, you told me to take a left.”
“I live here!! I take this exit all the time!!! I think I know where I’m going!!! There’s three lanes. You always go to the right!”
“I know. I was going there. But you said left.”
“I know! Left! Don’t you know your left from your right?”
I held up my hands confused. Did I make a mistake? Did I screw up left from right? Nope. L for left people.
He kept ranting, confusing left and right, his voice rising, leaning back and forth aggressively. I wanted to pull over and ask him to get out of my car. Right now. But I felt like that would only escalate things. He was on the edge of slamming/hitting/kicking something and I didn’t want myself or my car to be that thing. So I said calmly, “I’m not going to talk with you any more about this. I’m just going to drive you wherever you need to go. And then we’re done.”
He kept at it, trying to provoke me. Spewing insults about my directional abilities. He tried sarcasm next. But I didn’t answer. I wasn’t going to say one more word.
Thankfully we didn’t have to go that far. As he stumbled out of the car, he tried one more barb. “Well thank you for that extremely uncomfortable and awful ride.”
Nope. Still not gonna say a thing. (Form of an iceberg!!!)
I debated whether to give him 1 or 2 stars. 2 stars means you were a disappointment. 1 star meant he would be flagged. I decided on 1. Because not only was he erratic, he was potentially violent. I’m from New York, I can handle just about any asshole. But I know other female drivers who may not have. So…. C… who knows why the winds of fate brought us together to argue about left and right. Perhaps I was your lesson in facing your mirror — that uncomfortable thing that’s supposed to challenge you to see yourself — just as you were mine.