How I wrote Shockingly True Uber Stories

I’d been trying not to smoke weed for over a week, in preparation of recording the audiobook.  And it turned out I’m much more addicted to marijuana than I ever realized…  I don’t smoke everyday, I skip days here and there, but at the same time I’ve only made it 3 weeks without smoking ever since I started 15 years ago.  I’ve made it 3 weeks many times, but I never make it past 3 weeks.  3 weeks is my unbreakable record so far.

  I did really good for my first year out here, because I barely brought enough weed from California.  And since I don’t even have an acquaintance out here, obviously I have no weed connection, and weed is still illegal here, like I’ve traveled back decades in time… so I had to ration my weed that first year, and I thought I would be okay, because I’m here with my girl and she doesn’t smoke and she doesn’t ever want me to, but I didn’t count on a global pandemic happening, and all of a sudden being locked inside my home with nothing but time to kill… 

  So I had to make what little weed I had last somehow, by taking tiny hits out of a little pipe, about once a week.  And it still wasn’t great because before I left California, I went to the weed store and told this guy that worked there that I’m moving out of state so I need something good and strong to have with me.  

Out in California, and especially LA, we can become snobs about weed, because we have endless options when it comes to the different styles and strains, so I told the guy I want something strong and powerful, yet really relaxing, but I don’t want to feel sleepy, I don’t want to just fall asleep, I still want to get high, still be stoned in my mind, but I want my body relaxed, I want to be chill, so nothing too intense…

  But all this stoner guy behind the counter heard was the word “powerful”, so he pointed me in the direction of what he said was the best stuff they had in the place.  The bottle said the THC level was 30%, which is WAY more THC than anybody needs.  But me being a true weed fiend, I fell for it and told him I’d take it.  

They didn’t have any of my favorite strains, and I had a packed moving truck waiting in the parking lot so I didn’t have time to overthink my decision, so I took his recommendation and I also grabbed a bottle of Blueberry Kush which had a more reasonable THC level of 21%, plus I grabbed some weed cookies in case I wanted to binge some shows during a snowstorm or something…

  Anyway, none of the weed I brought for the first year was relaxing in the slightest bit.  Every time I took the slightest hit, it felt more like I snorted cocaine or PCP or something, because my heart would just race like I was having a heart attack.  

Perhaps it was psychological or maybe I’m just getting old and my frail skeleton frame can’t handle it anymore, but I’ve never had any bad symptoms before, usually as soon as marijuana enters my body it immediately feels like I’ve ingested the cure for whatever ails me, but with this demon weed I couldn’t sit still.  

I’d feel my heart pounding like it’s trying to bounce out of my chest and I’d start pacing all around, praying to God, swearing I’ll never smoke again if my body would just chill and return to normal.  I couldn’t stay in the pad, I’d feel like running outside in the snow and hop on a bike and pedal and pedal to catch up to my speeding heart rate…

   But of course I kept smoking because I’m so addicted and I never learn my lesson, plus the pandemic hit and we were all of a sudden quarantined inside, and I kept telling myself this time it’ll be different, this time it’ll be different, it’s all in my head… but no I still couldn’t calm down, every time I smoked it felt like life or death. 

  Maybe I was just too stressed after moving to a new state that I can’t stand with harsh weather that’s so difficult to survive, and I don’t know if you’ve read Shockingly True Uber Stories, if you haven’t then spoiler alert: my head and neck are paralyzed, yet I was driving passengers for Uber and Lyft through the snow and the ice…

Plus my girl is 20 years younger than me, and she’s here on scholarship in the United States for the first time, so it’s like all of sudden after never having children, I inherited a college student to take care of, and she doesn’t have a car or a license yet so I’m on call for everything and anything 24/7.  And after wishing for years for an Arabian Princess to appear next to me, my wish was actually granted, but it’ll make you more careful what you wish for when you have to take care of every whim of a Princess from the desert while you’re both stuck in the snow and ice and you’re living on the low wage of an Uber driver in a small farm town…

  She wants to know why I’m always fidgeting uncontrollably, rubbing the center of my chest with my palm, and why I’m so easily stressed and frustrated in the simplest of situations like picking her up from the library, but I can’t tell her I’m dying from the high of this weed, when she hates that I smoke it.  I don’t want to add fuel to her fire…

  So yeah it was a rough first year here, and obviously it was a rough year for the entire world in 2020.  But here we had all the virus stuff AND constant snowstorms, so that didn’t help.  I tried to drive for Uber and Lyft all the way to the very end, despite my immune system at risk due to the autoimmune disease that left my head frozen and entire spine paralyzed, until the world came to a stop and we were all stuck inside.  

  I stayed home doing nothing, watching the balance in my bank account drop rapidly, until finally they got unemployment sorted out, and I was waiting impatiently on my first payment, and it was the end of April when all of a sudden it started snowing one morning, and it snowed more in one day than I’ve ever seen the entire time I’ve lived here.  Not even in the worst winter storm did it snow this much in one day. The snow pounded down on the city and since everything was shut down and nobody was working, there was no one to clear the snow from the streets, let alone clear the sidewalks or the stairs, or from the front of my door.  

  I told my girl I was on my way to pick her up, but of course it would take awhile to clear the snow off my car as always, but as soon as I stepped outside, I stepped into at least a foot of snow, and there were no other footsteps in the snow anywhere, it was obvious that not one person had even attempted to step outside, not one car had even attempted to move, and these people grew up here, everyone has lived here much longer than me, and clearly not one person had made the slightest move to even attempt to move any vehicle in the deepest snow I’ve ever seen, so I felt like a complete idiot making huge holes with each slow step through the snow, down the stairs and out into the street to my car that was completely covered in thick white snow.  I made a ridiculous attempt to push the snow from my windshield with a broom, but it was obviously useless.  

  If you’re wondering why I even made the slightest attempt to brave a snowstorm this harsh and try to move my car, let alone open the door to my home and step outside into it, especially during a global pandemic while it was practically illegal to go outside, then you’ve obviously never dealt with the wild temper of a young Arabian… my girl is as cool as they come, but the one thing she hates most in life is being late, and even worse: canceling on her.  

  But there was just no way a vehicle could move in this amount of snow so I had to suck it up and call her and tell her I wasn’t gonna make it.  I hung up, realizing I was gonna pay for it for the rest of my life, and went back inside and sat down and decided to start writing Shockingly True Uber Stories, just to pass the time and kill the boredom… (to be continued)  

Shockingly True Uber Stories is available now

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