A Series of Conversations with Strangers, in Vignettes (Part 1)
Lamajiah, the Lyft driver who picked me up from O'Hare. He's a rapper, and he's creating his own genre: PanAfrican Trap Solution Rap and his second album drops later this month (I think on the 21st). He said he could tell I was a comedian as soon as I got in the car, and that me leaving data science made sense to him.
The woman at Acadia National Park who saw me creeping up on a squirrel to get a better picture. She's retired and just got the lifetime National Park Pass. We talked about travel and the beauty of nature, and how we both felt uncomfortable around commercialism.
Gary, the Lyft driver who drove me to Boston and had home baked cookies in the back seat for his passengers (Heath bar hazelnut cookies. So good!). We talked about road trips, and he pointed out interesting landmarks and neighborhoods in Boston as we drove by. When we went to the medical district, he waved at the building his wife worked at.
Amy and her friends, who stopped into Bukowski Tavern in Boston before the Red Sox game. We talked about wine choices in bars, the many ways one can use "fuck" in a sentence, and the rocket scientists we know.
Corita, also at Bukowski Tavern. We talked about life choices, and how to struggle against being forced down one singular path by them.
Jimmy at Midas, waiting for his oil change. Jimmy serves in the National Guard, he talked about how he can't say anything about federal politics in an official capacity. We talked politics for a bit. We also talked about tattoos, and what would happen if the Olympics were alottery, where random citizens had to go compete.
Fred was also waiting for an oil change at Midas, and joined the conversation. After Jimmy left, he told me about working in the Army and then the government, and how after he retired, he got bored and worked a job putting electronics together. He told me about his kids, his youngest daughter who worked in a private bank in Boston, and his son, who was a retired DEA agent.
Steve and Jamie, two Canadian guys at Judi's Lounge, a dive bar in Niagara Falls. Steve asked why I sounded Canadian, and I assured him I didn't, but he said I was laid-back. I said, "Oh, I was born and raised in California." We talked global politics, how automated trucks are going to drastically affect the economy, and how the wings were better at a spot down the road.
Matt, also at Judi's, after Steve and Jamie left. He was there with friends, celebrating someone's birthday. We joked about making an app that would be like Yelp for Hitchhikers. I said it should be called "One Thumb Up."