Can you believe it?? Today marks one year of the Lyft Chronicles!
Okay well not exactly one year. I have no idea when and how the Lyft Chronicles started. One year ago, I started driving Lyft/Uber because I wanted the freedom to write and travel on my own terms as often as possible. I had spent the previous year working for another app share startup, Instacart. But in early 2015 Instacart did what ALL startups do and started messing with the money of their contractors. The day they called me from San Leandro to Emeryville to pick up an order to take BACK to San Leandro, I was done.
But I needed money and I was intent on not going back to corporate America if I could help it. So I invested in leasing a brand new Prius so that I could get on the road and that’s where the journey began.
The Lyft Chronicles themselves though? Well, I guess they came about because I am already an obsessive Facebook Statustician. Like many, Facebook became my diary and my space to vent. I would be willing to bet that the first Lyft Chronicle ever was me being appalled at some of the shit people do in San Francisco. I am shocked everyday by the people, by the culture, by the things you randomly notice when you are driving around San Francisco aimlessly at 5am. By the cultural observations that you make when you have nothing better to do but drive and watch the people on the sidewalks. And I’m just driving around in it day and night. On more than one occasion I have remarked that I am like Travis Bickle in my favorite movie Taxi Driver. Lord, just think of what his insane ass would have written for HIS Lyft Chronicles!
You may remember more of the Lyft Chronicles than I do. Some of my favorites have been the woman I stopped from giving head in my backseat. That time I picked up some naughty reindeer at SantaCon and spent the entire ride trading penis stories with the one who also pointed out the house of the guy who had the biggest penis she ever slept with. The time a homophobic Russian man called himself making a point about gay men until I finally asked him if he had ever slept with a man because he would probably enjoy it. And his girlfriend that he was cheating on his wife with for the weekend who was flirting with me as he went in the hotel. Then of course there was the kid who I gave a good black mama fussing when his mama let him throw a tantrum in my car. Ohhhh Good Times!
I have seen more tourist sites than I have ever seen in my 30 years of living in the Bay Area. Been to more cities, smelled more hot breath, and seen more random morning ass crack than I have would have liked. I have literally been run into by a man that was walking across the street as well as a bus driver that couldn’t admit his wrongs. I have seen desperate San Francisco people skateboarding and hoverbarding to work. I have saved relationships. I have calmed women having nervous breakdowns and saved women from abusive situations. I have driven latch key kids as well as blind folks. Met more cute puppies than I thought I would. I have told off entitled white men and youth alike. I have advocated for women and queer people. I have driven celebs. I broke a newstory to an AP writer because she was on vacation and missed it. I have been hit on my men AND women. I have been invited for drinks and maybe a threesome or two. I got tipped so much by one passenger during the Super Bowl that I got to spend the next two days rubbing shoulders with my favorite sports writers. I have seen and done this and so much more.
Day 364 of the Lyft Chronicles saw me take my 3,416th Lyft ride by end of day. My Lyft stories really aren’t any different than any other driver. We all have incredible stories to tell. The difference between mine is that I am a natural storyteller. I never even thought about the Lyft Chronicles as my particular brand of storytelling until you all started telling me how much you enjoyed them and I took the time to read them back for myself. They remind me that there is definitely a difference between being a writer and a storyteller. I came to that conclusion one day when I was working on my fiction book and I realized how much easier the Lyft Chronicles are because I’m no creating the story. I’m just re-telling a story that has already been written in the only colorful way I know how. A true storyteller can sit on a stool and just tell stories and they will engage you. That is how our history has been passed down through folklore and storytellers. Suddenly I am reminded of all of the elder story tellers I grew up around in Louisiana who would just sit on the porch and talk. That’s what I do with you when I am telling these stories. I’m just sitting on the porch sipping my tea and talking to all of you.
So Happy Anniversary Lyft Chronicles. I didn’t create them but I sure as hell made them worth reading! 🙂