When rides start with pulling up to a pickup location and a police officer is walking with somebody towards your car – it’s probably a good idea to cancel the ride immediately and drive away. The previous time with the guy grabbing at me and cussing at me in spanish should have taught me that.
It started off alright. She was talking about pairing wine with food and some drinks. She asked if I knew where we were going, and I showed her my phone so she could confirm the destination was correct. She said yes, beautiful.
We get to the destination and she starts getting detached. Despondently she asks, where have you taken me? Where are we? I ask her if the address is correct and she checks and says yes. I show her we’re where the pin is. She said, no no no no. Then she started into “why does this keep happening to me? why is my life so messed up? i’m a good person!”
I stayed calm, assured her we’d figure it out and I started searching for similar addresses. I’ve never once had lyft or uber have one address and the gps on google maps fuck it up and send me to another one. I found a similar one that was a long ways north from where we were. I showed her that and she said yeah that looks exactly right. I was dubious but she was drunk and I wanted to try. So we went.
This time it takes us out into dirt road country. She apologies a hundred times and assures me this is the right path. We were on a road she recognized as driving all the time. I turn down a side road off the side road, and into a driveway. The driveway passed through a cinder block wall. Beyond that was an enclosure a few car lengths long. there was room for cars to park on both sides of the driveway within the cinder block enclosure. In front was a chain link gate, with a keypad off to my left. I asked what the code was and she started panicking again.
She said hold on, and got out. She yelled for the doggies to stop barking. She had said she had dogs so I figured we were at the right place. After yelling at the dogs to calm down, she realized they weren’t her dogs. These dogs were all big, and german Sheppard looking. She started weeping quietly and back into her why does this always happening, crying out where am i. She walked (barely, without falling) back to the cinder block wall we passed to get to the enclosure near the keypad. She very carefully in her wobbly state got her underwear off and was pissing on the wall.
I was thinking of what I would say if an angry resident or whatever, came out and found this situation unfolding. I figured I’d be fine but I had no idea what would happen. I was also running through all the stories in my head of drivers dropping people and driving away for far less. At least this was out in the wilderness and she’d probably be just fine. Unlike some of the people, like the underage girl who got dropped off, too drunk to function, at a random gas station and left, in the middle of a neighborhood i wouldn’t even want to walk through.
After she finished she stood there swaying back and forth, freaking out quietly. Sometimes loudly, but usually quietly. At this point we had been in the enclosure already for 18 minutes or so. I got out and made sure she was alright and she obviously was having a hard time standing up. So I took her hand and helped her back into the car. I reminded her I wasn’t going to give up and we would find her house. I knew we were probably getting real close now.
I looked up the address a couple more times and found one in the lot west of us so I tried to get to that around the south side. That dirt road was terrifying for how low to the ground my car is. It got to a T in the road where I could turn right, which I wanted to. But I wasn’t confident the car would make it without getting high centered or something. So I turned around and went back and tried getting around the other way.
Once I turned left back onto the road we came from to get to the cinder block enclosure, she was excited again that we found the road she knows (like I had forgotten that haha.) So we drive to the next intersection and she starts explaining stuff I should see (now, but not earlier? Some things she said I could have found eyeballing google maps’ satellite view) – We got to a gate and her eyes lit up. It was just a chain link gate but no cinder block wall or anything.
She got out and I helped her walk to the gate, open it, and back into the car. We drove up to her house and I helped her out of the car. There was a wooden ramp that was 30 degrees, and not supported very well. I was worried there wasn’t going to be much I could do to get her up the ramp but I tried.
We got one step onto it and she was like, I can’t do this in my heels. That’s right. She had heels on the whole time and was managing to get around too drunk to even know what her address was.
I helped her get her two shoes off. She put them on a dresser or something that was by the bottom of the ramp, along with her purse, phone, and draws she had taken off to piss (and were on the car floor in the back. Thankfully didn’t smell at all.) – I didn’t want her to forget them (and for some reason didn’t want to spend time getting back to it and carrying it up later) – so I picked it all up (but the underwear) and held it while helping her up the ramp.
We got to the door and the dogs inside were going nuts. A little black lab it looked like, a huge boxer, and a little dog I didn’t get the chance to see or pet much because of the others. She was asking over and over if I liked dogs and I said I assure her I’m fine with animals. Once the door opened the two bigger ones were all over me. Then just the boxer. I pet and played with the boxer once I put her stuff down on her kitchen table. (and reminded her several times that’s where it was)
I asked if I could use her bathroom (I hate doing that but it was almost two hours by this point and I had to piss for an hour of that.) She let me but the door didn’t shut, so I ended up holding it shut leaning over with one arm while pissing. Then I pet the boxer mostly for another 5 or 10 minutes, talking to her assuring her she was fine, and far from my worst fare as she was worrying. I told her I just wanted to make sure she got home and didn’t get hurt on the way.
As I was leaving she said “I hope I get to see you again” in a sad wistful voice. Earlier in the car during one of her break downs she talked about how she always wanted a family to share all this wine and food knowledge with along with everything else. She was clearly desperately lonely and I’m assuming that was the core of whatever happened in that bar before I got the pickup request.
Though later I learned she left me a 2 dollar tip (which, a 20 dollar fare, all that trouble and all the extra i did for her) …. I was very upset. I was thinking about driving way out there to check on her. I noticed a really expensive car in her driveway. Just…… So many reasons the 2 dollar tip just infuriated me.