When I was in NYSC Camp, I had a short-term camp girlfriend with whom I explored Black Gold camp, Kaduna.
She went on to tell me some of the deepest, darkest secrets embedded in her family history because “Well, I would probably not see you once camp is over so I might as well tell you.”
The logic behind this statement is the reason a lot of people who keep secrets from the people that love them open up to complete strangers.
This is probably because a stranger would listen to your stories without judging as a family member would.
However, everybody needs to unload some of their worries by speaking about it; after all, a problem shared is half-solved.
How else would regular humans like you and I share these deep worries without getting judged? Who do we turn to for a listening ear without the mouth that would speak words of advice that would be unwelcome?
This is why several people have turned their Uber drivers or passengers to “Shrink-on-Wheels,” unloading their issues on ears that have little or no choice but to listen.
An Uber ride would only last a few minutes and there is a very high chance that you would not see that driver again.
This makes those conversations between driver and rider short, but with a chance of being life-changing. The listening party thus plays the role of a psychiatrist that may never see their patient again.
I was on one of such rides from Gbagada to Ikeja and I was pleased to provide a listening ear for the driver.
He was having a bad day because one of his regular customers wanted him to pick her from her home and take her to a hotel on Lagos Island.
He told her he was unavailable but would find someone else who would be able to make that trip. He hung up, hissed and the rant began.
“That girl na olosho. If I were a single man, I would not be looking to date any of these Lagos girls because of the things I’ve seen.
“I have picked a lady from her boyfriend’s house only to take her to a hotel where she was linking up with another man. She still asked me to wait or come back later to take her back home.
“One of my passengers was crying in here the other day because the boy she went to meet asked her to fuck three other guys for extra 40k.”
“Did she do it?” I asked, eyebrows raised at the possibility of the inevitable response.
“Yes, na. She said she did it because she was there already and had already fucked the guy that called her over.
“Don’t get me wrong o, some of the passengers I carry are actually quite decent (like I was). However, those island girls that have Uber drivers on retainers are not decent at all. Na ashawo dem be.
“What is even worse is that some of them expect me to fight for them when the boy has hurt them one way or the other.
“I like to listen to some music on my trips but these girls won’t keep shut. They ask me for advice on what to do with their lives.
“How can I help them when I just want to complete the ride and get my own money? I don’t even ask for these gists, they just drop it off on me without asking.
“Well, that is kind of ironic because I am telling you all these without you asking. I am now guilty of what I complain about.”
The beauty of this conversation was that he could talk about these women and their numerous escapades without betraying their trust. While he did not drop any names, what are the odds that I would know any of them if he did?
What’s more? He was able to rant about his job and his shitty life as a driver to a complete stranger and he felt better for it.