This is part IV of a recurring series on FreshBagels – The Good Life. Check back each week for new installments and find previous versions in our “Life” Section!
I pulled up to the front of the bar, lowering my radio as one tends to do when looking for something. There were a few groups of people outside, some smokers and some just loitering, but none seemed to be searching for a black Hyundai. The music inside the bar blasted every time to door opened, it seemed to be a remix of the new Kendrick Lamar song playing. After about 2 minutes I saw three guys stumble out in unison. They were all laughing and looked completely wasted, with one of them staring down at his cell phone while pointing at every car in sight. I decided to help him out and gave a little honk, at which point the three musketeers waltzed over to my car and piled in. “You’re the Uber right?” one said. “Yes sir, at your service.” I replied.
It was only my 4th night driving, but so far I really didn’t mind the gig. Sure, the money wasn’t anything close to what I used to make at my desk job – but making your own hours was pretty sick. I knew that this was only a band-aid to my situation, seeing that what I could make driving wouldn’t even cover my rent, but for now it kept me afloat in my new life. While deep in thought, the tallest bro in the back began speaking to me. “Busy night dude?” he asked. “Yeah, nothing crazy though” I said. “Mostly just making runs from apartments to bars. How was it in there tonight? I used to go there a lot back in my heyday.”
“It was sick, man” the tall bro said. “We got there just before the line started and were able to walk right up to the bar to get drinks. The bartender actually gave us a free round – it was nuts. There was a bunch of girls too, some type of birthday party I guess.” On that note his ginger looking friend leaning against the window quickly popped his head up. “Yo, that one girl was smoking hot.” he said. “Who?” tall bro replied. “The one in the black top, long blonde hair. Charlie was talking to her for a while until she finally shut him down.” Charlie, who I learned was the third gentleman currently texting in the middle seat, politely flipped off his friend at this remark. The three hooligans continued this familiar rehashing of their night – all the highs and lows, with a few funny stories mixed in. Up until this moment I had been in a great mood today. The Rangers won their playoff game, I had a great round of golf, and best of all I didn’t work at a job I hated. But, all of a sudden I felt sad. Really, really, sad.
These bros in the back used to be me. I was Charlie getting shut down by cute girls. I was tall bro, who seemed completely pleased with his night just because he avoided a line and got a free beer. I was the ginger kid ripping on my buddies even though I wasn’t so special myself. While these guys couldn’t have been more than 5 years younger than me they seemed to be living a completely different existence than I currently did. Even after quitting my job and trying to enjoy things for the first time in years, I felt like I just couldn’t REALLY enjoy stuff like these three bros could. Was this whole experiment, if I am being honest enough to call it that, just me trying to hang on to the carelessness of youth? What was I trying to prove, that I was different than every other human being who grows up and evolves? Maybe Jessica was right and I should just get a normal job again. I tried to slow my thoughts down and just breathe, as I looked back at my three new friends in the back seat to see what was going on.
“Dude, can you pull over real quick?” Charlie said. “Bro, no you’re kidding right?” tall bro said. I quickly pulled over on the random side street I was on and unlocked the doors. Charlie climbed over ginger and threw his phone on the car floor. He tumbled out and assumed a kneeling position, at which point he unleashed everything that previously sat inside the poor guy’s stomach all over the sidewalk. “Man, I am so sorry about this. At least he didn’t get it in the car/” tall bro said to me. “Honestly? It is fine. Let him do what he has to do – this will be a funny story someday” I said. I turned up my radio to cancel out the vomit noises, and as fate would have it Blink 182 came blaring through the speakers. Great, I thought, this will totally take my mind off reliving my youth. At least the fare for this ride was going to be solid.