A young couple entered my Uber in Venice, heading for Hollywood. They sat far apart in the back seat. I soon heard what sounded like…sniffling, then the tell-tale exhale of deep sobs. I started to reach into the console to offer her a tissue, then I realized she didn’t need one, he did.
And so it continued, all the way across town.
Who does this? Who weeps in front of a woman for 30 minutes? Who weeps with another man in the car? Who can’t hold it together until the apartment?
But it didn’t end there. He asked me, in a cracking voice, to please turn the radio up. To mask the sound of your shameful sissy tears, I thought to myself. But no, he wanted to sing aloud to “Move Along” by The All-American Rejects, which he did with cathartic, pitchy elan.
What would Robert Mitchum think? He’d bitchslap both of us, me twice, for feeling guilty about judging. When I dropped them off, she marched away from him in silence while he followed, pleading his case in hand gestures.
Since I’m going to a shallow hell today, I’ll say it: she was not thin.
What the hell happened to millennial men? Does no one police this? Disney and Tinder seem to have done wonders for the women. The men have gone a different direction.
In packs of four, they roll into the car, shouting into their phones: “Dude meet us at Harlowe. We’re swinging for the fences tonight. If it’s not popping, we’re going to Lubitsch.” Do you have an aux cord? I wanna play some fire. Then they argue amongst themselves about what constitutes “fire”. Forty minutes in West Hollywood traffic watching the lines in front of the clubs sucks the bravado right out of them. They’re already talking about going for a taco run.
You pick them up at the end of the night, empty-handed, and they wrestle each other in the backseat. “I’m smashing Lisa. The countdown has begun. I got a number…..I’m calling Thursday.” “You’ll never do it.” “Friday, then.” “You’ll never do it.” They fall out of the car onto the sidewalk, punching each other in the gonads.
Two women take their place, as composed as swans gliding across a pond. “Hey driver, Jessica is turning 30-wonderful tonight. She’s feeling extra wonderful. What do you think about that?”
Here’s a depressing observation: I’ve had more women making out with each other in the back seat, than men with women. The last heterosexual makeout session unfolded like this:
She: Was this a date? He: What do you mean? She: Tonight. Drinks. Was this a date? He: I don’t know. Do you want it to be? She: Do you want a kiss? Say it was a date.
Then she cradled the back of his neck with her hand and pulled him toward her, the way you’d train a puppy.
I blame the phones, even though I shouldn’t.