Relationships are too often finite. The early seeds of an intimate relationship can blossom into the most beautiful and mesmerizing bouquet of flowers, only to wither away, succumbing to destructive forces, both concrete and abstract. The small possibility for the flowers to persevere and overcome these toxic monstrosities is what makes the desire to fall in love an inescapable sinful endeavor. Despite how hard you try to avoid love’s thorny weeds, the potent fragrance of a possible never-ending love is too powerful to avoid. A love only Father Time has the power to end.
This past weekend reminded me of the painful blow that love can deliver. A relationship of three years lost. A love never allowed to exist again – except as memories buried deep into the depths of my mind and heart.
My former lover and I first met during the summer of 2014. I recently moved to Philadelphia to teach summer school and was eager to explore the riches the city had to offer.
The first few weeks I found myself alone and scared. The City of Brotherly Love proved to be a different world than the rural Oklahoma towns that raised me. The city’s swift-footed pedestrians, piss soaked sidewalks, and lack of appreciation for smiling and waving at strangers were proving to be too much for me to handle. But then you came into my life.
Friday night faded into the early morning hours of Saturday as I drank shot after shot. I was on the verge of another blackout drunken night, lost in an unknown city. Each shot helped me digest the bitter truth that I was not tough enough to brave the offerings of the East Coast.
To ensure my own safety, I knew I had to find a ride home before the drinks reached their full potential. Finding a ride home at 1:30 AM was difficult. I was in a new city, isolated from all my friends and family. After failing to find a ride, I decided to accept the risk of walking home.
I was only a few steps outside of the bar when we found each other. You noticed my disjointed walk and worked your seductive charm, offering a ride home.To my dismay, you told me you could provide a ride to me for an estimated fee of about $8.67 and that if I repeated the phrase “NEWUSER” to you, my next ride would be free.
The ride appeared to be safer than attempting to stumble home in an aimless and drunken manner. I agreed and followed your instructions. After a few failed search attempts in the App Store, I managed to download the correct app and found myself in the comforts of your Honda Civic’s backseat.
At first sitting in the backseat was awkward. Our first date together and already you were treating me like an A-list celebrity. But as we approached closer to my home, I began to fall in love with my newfound celebrity facade.
Over the next few months our relationship continued to grow. I found myself reaching out to you every Friday and Saturday night, yearning for your services. Each time I found myself in the backseat of a different mid-level sedan, embracing your spontaneity.
Our love for one another lasted well past summer. Your willingness to pick me up and take me to any location I desired was too incredible to discard as a summer fling.
I brought you to New Jersey with me and you made the new city and state feel like home. You navigated me through the congested highways and narrow side streets. As long as I had you by my side, I never thought twice about where I was headed. Both address wise and life wise. Together, I could go anywhere and pursue anything. Our rides together were full of hope, love, and laughter. We often mocked the pink mustache imitators, as they attempted to recreate our special relationship.
After our first few successful months in New Jersey, I knew our love was true. I started to tell all my friends and family in Oklahoma about you. At first they were skeptical. How could I trust a complete stranger to drive me around? How did I know I was safe?
They failed to understand. Their fears and doubt held them back from experiencing the unique love we shared.They were stuck in a world where they took responsibility for reaching their destination. A world that prevented them from napping during their commute to work. A world where they couldn’t watch YouTube clips of cats petrified by rogue cucumbers, without risking a deadly car wreck. They would never experience the true splendors the world offered until they took a chance on you.
When my family came to visit New Jersey, they were shocked to find me at the airport waiting for them – carless. This was our chance to show them how much we loved each other. A chance to enrich their lives with a display of our unequivocal love.
You did not disappoint.
As soon as my family and I got in the car, you greeted us with bottles of water and mints. The luxury SUV was equipped with a fresh lemon-scented air freshener and the heater was set a comforting 70 degrees. Your small-talk was clicking with my family at an unprecedented success rate. You could have made the most friendly bartender look like a schizoid, even to his most loyal and regular customers. You somehow managed to win over my families hearts quicker than you did mine.
Unfortunately your generous heart and hypnotizing charm would prove unsustainable, damaging our relationship into an unrecoverable mass of broken parts.
Our relationship together first started to wither when you began charging me more to spend time with you during the holidays. Halloween, New Years, and other annual celebrations were when I needed you the most. But instead of being your usual loving and selfless self, you used these holidays as a way to fatten your pockets.
Your lust for money only worsened when you refused to see me without charging a surge price during the hours of 12:00 AM -4:00 AM. You knew these were the times I needed you the most. The times when I was at my weakest and unable to handle the difficulties of getting myself home on my own accord. My weaknesses became your business model.
I tried my hardest to ignore these price gouges and focus on the positives of our relationship. But then you decided to bring in other people into our most intimate moments. You claimed that carpooling with other people would help us save money. A “pool” service would let others revel in how special and strong our relationship had become. But all the “pool” service ever did was erase the luxurious space of the backseat and the comforting silence we shared. Now I had to deal with other couples fighting, wasted girls trying to hold their liquor, and worse of all, an additional 15 minute travel time to my destination.
As the months passed on, I noticed how much you began to love yourself more than you had ever loved our relationship. You began to offer services to others that I couldn’t even dream of experiencing. The exclusive helicopter rides filled me with immeasurable fits of jealousy.
Your new over-inflated head oozed with pride and arrogance when Madeintyo boasted your name and services. The more you heard people repeat the hook, the less important I became to you. You no longer cared for my safety, often leaving me in the hands of sex criminals and inexperienced drivers.
Your ego somehow managed to grow even more when you landed a starring role in a Saturday Night Live skit with Aziz Ansari. Once the skit aired, I knew our relationship was all but pronounced dead.
But my memories of us sharing auxiliary chords, discussing current events, the constant 10% off promo codes, and the endless DUIs you saved me from provided a false hope for our relationship.
Then this past week you did the unimaginable. You sided with President Trump and his inexplicable Muslim Ban by attempting to capitalize on the taxi strike. Your greed and ego put profits ahead of humanity. Our relationship had reached its unavoidable end. My once intimate memories are forever, and will forever be, tainted with disgust.
Goodbye Uber. You heartless asshole.
P.S. I lied to you. I’ve always had a thing for cars with mustaches.