Last week I started driving for Uber. You know, the ride-sharing service where you use your own car to drive people from here to there. Things are a little bit slow on the writing front, and even though the advance on my three-book novel deal was very generous, it wasn’t enough to put me in early retirement. I still co-write books for a living. If you need a writer, hit me up. After all, I’ve got six kids and a wife to take care of.
So, anyway, in an attempt to continue cobbling together an income as an independent, creative person, I started driving for Uber. I was plenty nervous before my first fare – what if the person wanted to talk? What if the person didn’t want to talk? What if I ran into something with a passenger in the car? What if I couldn’t find a passenger? What if, what if, what if.
I started in the afternoon and everything went well. I took a few people to vote, took a few people to and home from work, took one guy to the airport. I turned off the app around 6 and went home for a nice dinner with Maile – five of the kids were at my parents’ house – and then we sat down to watch the election. You all know how that turned out. Anyway, at around 10pm it looked like it was going to go on for quite some time, maybe until December, so I went back out and drove again for a few hours.
I took a few college kids home from a bar. I took a few more people to work the night shift. It hit me as I was driving that this is normal America – not the raging, frothy, foaming-at-the-mouth politicians, but these normal, everyday folks, trying to make a little money (like me), trying to make a living (like me), trying to make time for friends (like me).
Some of my friends in the margins of our society are sad or scared because of the election result. I mourn that they don’t feel safe, that their future suddenly seems in jeopardy. I think it’s important for all of us to mourn along with them. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted,” and “rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” These are hard days for many. These are days made for listening, for waiting, for silence.
It was a comfort to drive the streets of this city and see so many people going about their lives. I hope we remember to love each other even more. I hope we stand up for those in the margins, those at the edge. I hope.