At no point was I busy on New Year’s Eve. Being a newb has it’s disadvantages I guess, and so does anxiety. I knew L.A. was where all the money was at, but just the thought of driving in the city of angels induced a panic attack. I’m not familiar with Los Angeles at all, so I decided to let the night take me where she wanted.
I hung around in Redlands for a little while and the night rewarded me few rides around town. After people watching in a rainy Stater Bros. parking lot for what seemed like an eternity, I decided to relocate.
A car full of tipsy college girls needed a ride from California State University, San Bernardino to some house party near by. It took a hot ass minute for all of their drunk asses to congregate—in one spot—so we could get a move on.
From there, I ended up in Rancho Cucamonga and spent sometime sitting in an empty parking lot watching the rain trying to make up it’s mind. I spent my New Year’s in a cold wet empty parking lot reading a book.
When I decided to head home and finish my evening locally, I got a request—finally.
I followed the little lady inside my phone as she instructed me when and where to turn. I had no idea where the hell I was, but it was a quiet neighborhood full of nice homes. It was about twelve minutes after midnight when I closed in on my fare’s location.
It was the last turn and the customer was at the end of the cul-de-sac on the left.
I followed a pair of cars into the dead end. There were people everywhere. It looked like Dodger stadium had just let out the drunken masses. Intoxicated millennials grazed every open space of concrete and asphalt. I had no idea how I was going to get out of there.
There were at least three other cars parked at all angles—we were all trapped. Fights started breaking out left and right, male and female. It was complete chaos. The younger party goers ran amuck with their phones out recording fight after fight running like maniacs between them. They’re all probably on the YouTube somewhere.
In the middle, the main even was brewing up between the skins and the shirts (for some reason one side wasn’t wearing any shirts). I big shirtless guy with dreadlocks appeared to be in the eye of the storm. People were yelling and screaming everywhere.
I couldn’t zero in on anything that was being said, but it was about to pop off at any second. All the participants danced on the edge of the shit-talking standoff.
What the fuck am I going to do, I thought as I took in the sea of madness that surrounded me.
I looked back over to the mayhem in the middle, and Mr. Dreadlocks was out cold on the asphalt. Then it took crazy to a whole new level. It was unreal. It was like I wasn’t even there, but yet I stood out like a sore thumb. I didn’t exist to anyone, not even the rider—they never showed up.
Off in the distance, in one of the yards, someone went down and a pack swarmed the unlucky bastard. They wailed on him with their fists and feet. I cringed watching each blow hoping they wouldn’t kill him.
I kept expecting the cops to show up at any moment, and I hoped I would get out of there before they arrived, because I knew I’d be stuck for much, much longer.
“Blot! Blot! Blot! Eastside n****!” some kid yelled as he fired his finger gun sideways while his girl struggled to push him down the street.
It was intense and I didn’t want to stick around to see how far these drunken dumb fucks were going to take it. I saw my opening, I canceled the ride, and signed off.
Mr. Dreadlocks was still unconscious on the cold street as I swung out of the cul-de-sac.