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Stella Adler Theater, Los Angeles

Waiting for Uber

“At this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not.”

Jeffrey Denny

[Open with internal monologue]

UberX ordered. Ten minutes. Ten dollars. Perfect.

***

Five minutes. I’ll go downstairs.

***

Two minutes. I’ll go outside and wait. It’s 32 — not that cold.

***

The air feels good. I think I can spot a white Hyundai Elantra. They kinda look like Camrys. Maryland plates, starts with 9C.

***

[Time passes, checks Uber app] Huh. Now it’s 15 minutes. Must be traffic. I should have worn a coat.

***

[Checks Uber app again] Three minutes. Good.

[Peers around, checking cars pulling into intersection for white Hyundai.]

***

[Time passes, no white Hyundai appears, checks Uber app again] What? Now it’s 20 minutes? How can 10 minutes become two minutes and then 15 minutes and then three minutes and then 20 minutes?

[Examines driver course on Uber app] Wait! Why is he going that way? No! You’re going the wrong way! Nooo! Come this way! Turn around! Come to me! I’m right here!

***

[More time passes, examines driver course on Uber app again] Why are you sitting there? You’re not moving! C’mon! Move! Fuck! I’m freezing! MOVE!

***

[Much later] Ah. Thank god. You’re moving. Eighteen minutes … 17 minutes … 16 minutes … I can make it …

NO!!! DON’T GO THAT WAY! That’s Dupont Circle! Stay away! It’s all messed up there! Didn’t you see that Holly Hunter movie?

***

[20 minutes later, phone rings with unidentified out-of-area number]

UBER DRIVER: I’m here.

JEFF: Where?

UBER DRIVER: Corner 12 and F.

JEFF: No, I’m at 14th and New York.

UBER DRIVER: I’m at corner 12 and F.

JEFF: I understand. But please come to 14th and New York. It’s just a few blocks. I’m standing right there. You’ll see me. On the corner. Look for the idiot with the glasses and blue blazer without the coat who’s getting sleepy with hypothermia.

UBER DRIVER: What?

JEFF: Nothing. Just please come soon.

***

[Neighbor who works nearby walk ups, chitchats, suggests grabbing one of the many available taxis passing by. Debate ensues.]

NEIGHBOR: Let’s go.

JEFF: We can’t.

NEIGHBOR: Why not?

JEFF: We’re waiting for an Uber.

NEIGHBOR: [despairingly]. Ah! [Pause.] You’re sure it was here?

JEFF: What?

NEIGHBOR: That we were to wait.

JEFF: I said at 14th and New York. At the corner. Do you see any others?

NEIGHBOR: Do you think we’re waiting at the wrong place?

JEFF: He should be here.

NEIGHBOR: Did he say for sure he’d come? You’re sure it was this evening?

JEFF: What?

NEIGHBOR: That we were to wait.

***

[Uber driver cancels trip]

JEFF: This is an existential nightmare. I can’t go on like this.

NEIGHBOR: That’s what you think.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer. Apologies to Samuel Beckett.

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