die in an uber, live on the green

My first weekend in town, despite my sleepwalking exhaustion, I decided to check out some free music festival called Live on the Green downtown (there are so many free things that happen in this city which is great as I’m pretty broke after the cross-country move). Rather than spend the same amount of money on parking and fighting traffic on my own, I went ahead and paged my first Nashville Uber driver to pick me up and take me there. Also, this would allow me to have some beer and wine in the 1,000 degree weather without having to worry.

The name of the driver had some royal twist like Duke, Prince, King…I’ll go with DPK for short. He picked me up in a barely-made-the-cut-for-Uber-approval car that had minimal airflow on this horridly humid day. As we were pulling out of my complex, right before a speed bump, he slammed on the breaks and yelled.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” – DPK

As it turns out, he was screaming about something minor, right in line with having the sudden realization he left his porch light on or the discovery of a quarter in his floorboard. He apologized for his outburst and blamed excessive similarities between himself and Chandler, and years of watching Friends, as the reason.


Before we even hit the freeway onramp, he had shared with me how much he enjoys to cook, how he moved here from South Africa, how good of a cook he was…

Do you like to eat? Would you ever date a South African?” – DPK

In terms of moving fast, this guy was moving fast not only in our dilusioned future relationship, but also around the twists and turns of the road. We went on those big roundy-round freeway entrances and exits, and through the carved-out lanes that had mile-high limestone on either side, at 5,000mph as he continued on and on about how his ex-girlfriend was the worst and how he knows how to treat a woman real nice. He was eating ice cream out of a big plastic tumbler with a metal tea spoon. Why were his eyes on his ice cream, BOTH hands off the steering wheel, while in the middle of a 90-degree turn?! I knew at that moment that I would not make it to Live on the Green alive. I was going to die on an unfamiliar freeway in this ice cream-eating creeper’s car.

So, I’m not going to ask you again, what’s it gonna take to get you to go out with me?” – DPK, as he looked me dead in the eye right before running a very red light.

He hadn’t asked, but he may has well have as he tried to probe me for what I liked to eat, how I felt about cheating on a partner, and some even more invasive questions that I don’t know how to type out because I was so uncomfortable that I blocked the specifics out my brain in hopes of never having to recall them again. I was pretty confident at this point that he had signed up to be an Uber driver to hit on innocent girls like myself and not to save up money to pursue high education like he had originally mentioned.

I just moved here and need to focus on myself right now. You know, you can actually just let me out of the car right here.” – Me, uncomfortable and terrified for my life on now multiple levels.

I walked a mile in uncomfortable sandals to make my way to my destination. I met some non-creepers at the music festival who are now some new friends! It was a nice reward and turn of events. I will forever remember that first weekend in Nashville, the Saturday I almost died in an Uber on my way to Live on the Green.

*This driver has since been reported to Uber. I was DPK’s third ride ever, and most likely, his last. Uber refunded my trip and sent me a very professional and kind email to assure me my feedback was received and my concerns were addressed. Yay, Uber! I’ll stick with you as my #1 preferred ride share service for now. You did good.

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