Ubers at 1AM

It turns out this driver is a writer who has given up on his writing. We talk for a long time about that. I tell him I haven’t written anything in months even though I consider myself a full-time author now, having lost my other career to illness.

“So, what did you used to write and why did you stop?” I ask him. His name is Juan.

“Well, I used to write fantasy action fiction, kind of like the ‘John Wick’ movies, and I always wanted to write a book of poems for my wife, but life gets in the way you know? I have to work, and I have kids and I don’t have time.”

“Would you say it’s your passion? Like the number one thing you would do if you didn’t have to worry about financially supporting your family?”

Juan thinks about this for a moment. He lands on, “yes.”

“Then you have to write,” I tell him, “Otherwise you’re hurting more than yourself. You never know how you could affect someone with your words. It’s so important. Please tell me that you’ll think about it. I have about 50 journals in my house. When we arrive, I’ll get you one, and then you can at least write those poems for your wife, okay?”

“Not so fast. What about you?”

“What about me?”

“If you’re going to insist that I use my words then I’m going to insist that you start writing yours. I can tell you have a lot to say. You’ve been kind to me this entire ride, talking to me about my family and what I like to do and sharing stories we might have in common. You are someone who likes to open peoples’ eyes. With that in mind, you’re really the one doing the disservice by not writing anymore. You said you have a blog?” Juan asks.

“I do.”

“Well, when is the last time you wrote in it?”

“It’s been a minute.”

“Autumn. How can you plead with me about passions when you’re clearly meant to be practicing what you preach. Maybe just start there.”

I am so drunk. I have been drinking the whole ride home, and I have gone back into a state of Blackout. I know I will now only remember flashes of what happens next.

There is one very important thing that I do remember.

On this ride home we make each other promises. I will give Juan one of my empty journals. He promises he will write in it, but only if I start to write again.

It is a done deal.

As I drop off a journal before he leaves, we exchange numbers in case we want to reach out to prod each other to pursue our common passion, but I know we’ll never speak again. Blacked out nights like this leave me too embarrassed about what I might have said or done to even pretend I had any kind of normal interaction with the person I was with. Best not to risk it.

But we promise each other that we will write.

I don’t always take promises seriously. I find I use them to get people off my back more than anything else. But some promises are valuable, if I can remember them after I’m back from a Blackout.

I don’t know if Juan is using my journal.

I hope he is.

I doubt it.


I have been writing every day since.


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