Her story is part of the tricks in her box.While driving today in our great city of Chicago, I witnessed a lady come out onto the street (south of downtown) and hail me down around 9:30 pm (she must have seen my Uber light on top of my car). She yelled loudly, "Hey Uber driver, want some candy?!" and touched her legs and torso. The interesting thing was that she was dressed ONLY in a pink bra and panties! It was relatively chilly today, around 45 degrees, so I wondered to myself that she must be quite cold. I just yelled out the window (barely creaked open) that "Sorry, I have a current ride but thank you!" and drove off... I just smiled to myself as it reminded me of a few other times I had a cultural experience of this sort. I did read that "ladies AND men of the night" are having a LOT of trouble obtaining clients these days because of the fear of the virus, so perhaps this young lady was particularly desperate. I wonder if anyone else has had an experience like this lately...
Speaking of which, about a year ago before the pandemic struck, I had a passenger request in Lake Forest, IL, which is about 40 minutes north of the upper edge of the city. A young lady came out named Rachel and entered my vehicle with a VERY large purse. After she entered, she proceeded to remove a lot of items from said purse and began to put on a lot of makeup, a hairbrush, and started using hairspray (I just rolled down the window instead of dissuading her). She looked at me looking at her through the mirror (I never look at customers but I wanted to know what was going on). She immediately confessed to being an escort and prostitute. I drove her to a hotel in Rosemont, IL (by O'Hare Airport) where she detailed where she was to be the stripper at a bachelor's party. (We spoke at length as the ride was 35 minutes). She was quite gregarious and loquacious while explaining how she became involved in her profession.
She had a terrible relationship with her father who walked out on her family, and she told me the shocking moment that she, at a tender age of 14, found her mother dead. She looked down the hallway in her home one day and saw two legs and feet in the bathroom doorway...then she approached and saw her mother had killed herself with a shotgun! She elucidated how that experience completely devastated her and she essentially withdrew from the typical path of life. She recounted her long history of drug use... I depressingly saw how her fingers were severely swollen and she explained that a garage door came down on them (very odd way to assume such a lesion). I felt such compassion for her and tried to counsel her how detrimental her current behavior was. She said she was only 22 years old. The funny thing was that after I tried my best to impress upon her a scintilla of wisdom...she offered her services to ME! Her Uber driver! When I told her no, she said if it is about the money then she could exchange a trade for services. I told her it was nothing to do with money... She then explained she is running low on heroin and crack cocaine and wanted someone who seemed smart to help her order items from the Dark Web. I explained I categorically cannot help her do something which would further destroy her (She would have had to use bitcoin and the Tor Browser with PGP encryption). As we entered the roundabout at the hotel, she told me kindly "goodbye" and asked if she could leave her phone number with me and... her wet towel lol (her hair had been wet). I said OK and then promptly disposed of the towel in the trash bin (and the paper with her phone number). It made me ruminate how powerful one's early life experience can complete derail his/her emotional balance.
Another time BEFORE this pandemic about a year ago, I was driving southwest of the city by Archer Ave and 31st with a passenger, and there was a long tunnel. There, I saw almost a half dozen women all dressed very...salaciously, who were just standing there staring at the cars passing by. It was my first such encounter and it was quite a unique incident that left a lasting impression. One of the ladies wore these REALLY high heels such that as I was driving by, I could see them lighting up in a rainbow color scheme with each step! It actually looked kinda cool from a distance. My passenger and I just looked at each other and giggled momentarily. I am sure every big city (around the world) has this in their hidden areas.
There has been other incidents I have experienced, but the following "takes the cake"... About two years ago, I had a pick up not far from my house around Touhy Ave and Harlem in Niles, IL. Three people got into my car (one middle aged gentleman and two teenagers who later told me they were 14 and 16). The gentleman was the father of the two kids. The one thing that hit me like a ton of bricks was when the door shut... It SMELLED SO AWFUL! I immediately did a dry heave. I rolled down all the windows and just breathed through my mouth. I chose not to say a word, except to say "It is such a nice sunny day, let's have some fresh air!" When I looked through the rear view mirror, I could see him coughing, but he was not coughing from his mouth... Rather, there was mucus flowing out of his neck through a tracheostomy tube. It was a hot summer day, and it was flowing down his shirt.
The destination showed he was going to Mannheim Rd. and Lake Street. This is where the exotic dancer club Scores and The Gold Room is located nearby. I told him my name and said what I often start rides with, "Hi, my name is Young and I hope you are having a wonderful day!". He pressed the hole in his neck (so his vocal cords could get windflow) and said just one word, "Hooker". I silently was aghast, because I was thinking... WHAT WERE HIS TWO KIDS DOING HERE?! Since the ride was long, and I had to take Touhy Ave to the 294S and then the Irving Park exit to Mannheim Rd. Therefore, I had some time to fill in the details. He had the kids for the weekend and wanted to spend "quality time" with them. His son was quite engaging in talking with me, and told me that they simply will wait in another adjacent hotel room while their father and his prostitute do their thing. The father was on SSI disability. I was bewildered by the moral dilemma here. Obviously this is an illegal activity, but I felt obviously no personal danger. I am not judging the father, but why was he bringing his kids?? And couldn't he consider a better weekend visit? Maybe a trip to the mall, beach or Navy Pier?
Anyhow, when we got to the motel (which was pretty run down), out came a prostitute who was older and had some crooked dark teeth. She was friendly enough to me, and the man got out and started to negotiate with her. I overheard them agreeing on a price, it was $540. I don't know the going rate for prostitutes here in Chicago, but the price seemed pretty steep. My guess it had A LOT to do with his smell. Anyhow, they all left my car, and I quickly drove it to a car wash that does interior cleaning. Even after, the smell seemed to linger for 3 days. I had to also use carpet deodorizer, Lysol, and Apple Cinnamon Air Freshener to finally be rid of the stench. I did consider charging him a cleaning fee, but there was really no visible evidence of any mucus or soiling of my seats. It just must have OOZED into my car's upholstery. Also, he is on a disability income. After the Uber ride and prostitute fees, how could I charge him a considerable amount of money... especially seeing his poor children? I was in a dilemma, but I just let it be (as the eternal song by the Beatles exhorts). There are other experiences I recall, but none so memorable as this one. Again, I had no judgment on any one of these passengers, but a deep seated compassion coursed through my soul...