Transportation Alternatives

She sat next to me
while I gulped down egg drop soup
at the take out place.
She asked if she could pay me cash
so that I could order an Uber for her.
I smelled a scam
but answered honestly:
I don’t have Uber.

Oh. Thanks, she said,
and I returned to my soup.
I side-eyed her.
She was pale
dressed in fashionable black,
very pretty,
with sharp red lipstick
that demanded attention
even as I faced away from it
and her.

I interrupted her studying her phone.
Why not take a taxi? I asked,
More expensive?
Yeah, she said.
I didn’t know that I trusted her
with access to my data
but I was willing to help the pretty girl.

Look, you don’t know me,
I said, but I can drive you.
Are you going to Brooklyn?
She asked.
but I can.
Thanks anyway, she said.

And there we were.
She had a curious request
– one I couldn’t trust.
I had a curious solution
– one she daren’t trust.
Two strangers could have helped each others out
at the local take out shop
but wouldn’t take the chance
refusing each to take a leap of faith.

All right, I shrugged
and went back to my soup.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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