ISSUE TWO: July, 2019



Hey!  Nice to see you!  I see you’ve chosen Uber Pool Express to get to your very important doctor’s appointment this morning.  May I introduce the director of this ride, film prodigy Darren Aronofsky?

 So, what we’re going to do is assign you a driver, tell you she’s five minutes away, and then persist in supplying you with that information for a solid fifteen minutes. 

 Oh, you were late anyway?  Fabulous, that adds to Mr. Aronofsky’s vision, you know?

 So then, we’re going to have the driver pull up absolutely blasting the radio, and you’re going to check the license plate and climb in the back.  Just so you know, Clint Mansell is going to do the radio score.

 Anyway, this is when you really need to commit to this Uber ride directed by film prodigy Darren Aronofsky.  The driver is going to start speaking to you, because she’s “known for great conversation” according to your Uber app.  But you won’t be able to hear her that well over the music, which is really kind of uncomfortably loud, now that you’re thinking about it.

 With me so far?

 Ok, good.  Then, and Mr. Aronofsky really wants you to make this believable, you start nodding and smiling at everything she says.  Something about her fiancé, something about a house…you just agree and make noises of interest.  If you can discern anything specific, why don’t you say something like, “Wow, that sounds exciting!”

 Ok, plot’s about to thicken.  Film prodigy Darren Aronofsky loves a thick plot, you know.

 It’s Uber Pool, so you’re going to pick someone else up.  Well-dressed, no nonsense…a professional woman, and she’s going to get in the front.

 Now, this is pivotal.  She’s actually going to ask the driver to turn down the music, which is both a relief and something you should have done if you were at all comfortable with setting boundaries.

 And away we go.

 The driver is going to include the new passenger in the conversation now, and you know what she was saying about her fiancé, and the house?  Well, it turns out, she was just mentioning in passing that she’s BURYING HER FIANCE TODAY.  Yup, he’s dead, deader than a doornail, and you were back there saying things like, “Wow, that sounds exciting!”

 Oh, no, no, no.  There’s more.

 Professional woman in the front seat is going to go on to learn that the uncomfortably loud music was “their song”, naturally.  It’s not too awful that you nodded and smiled at that, but, apparently, she’s about to lose the house, too, and film prodigy Darren Aronofsky wants you to look particularly aghast that you thought you were complimenting her accomplishments in life by asking if she had a yard when you couldn’t hear what she was saying.

 Oh, also?  The fiancé?  He committed suicide.

 I know!  WHERE else could you get this shit if not from the brain of film prodigy Darren Aronfosky?  It boggles the mind.

 Anyway, this is the part where the driver will start talking about how she doesn’t think she can bring herself to attend the funeral, especially because her son is blaming her for his dad’s death, so film prodigy Darren Aronofsky would like you to now join the professional woman and pipe up with some support from the backseat.

 What’s that?  No, no, it’ll be perfect.  See, you’ve been sitting silently in the backseat this whole time, listening to the entire car wreck unfold, so there’s no better time to suddenly interject into the conversation and make things even more awkward.

 Ok, the rest is pretty straightforward.  The driver is going to be in hysterical tears by this point, and she’s going to drop off the professional woman, and then it’s ALL ON YOU to keep up the conversation through rush-hour traffic in a major urban center when you’re already late for a very important doctor’s appointment. 

 Oh, and this is important.  Film prodigy Darren Aronofsky doesn’t want you to admit that you’re an atheist, so it’s going to be even more of a mindfuck when you tell her you’ll be praying for her as she drops you off.

 What?  No, he’s certain that’s the correct artistic decision because of how you’re going to fumble over it, because you never say things like that, unless you’re on an Uber ride directed by film prodigy Darren Aronofsky.

 So, that’s about it.  Are we clear?  Any questions?

 Oh, that’s a good question.  Film prodigy Darren Aronofsky is thinking of calling your Uber ride, “Directly Based on a True Story.”  The viral marketing is going to explode.

 So, we ready?  Ok!  Three, two, one…ACTION!


SHANNON FROST GREENSTEIN resides in Philadelphia with her children, cats, and soulmate. She works as a copywriter for a nonprofit in the city while attempting to finish The Next Great American Novel. Shannon is a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy and a Pushcart Prize nominee who comes up when you Google her. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Philadelphia City Paper, Crab Fat Magazine, Chaleur Magazine, the Ghost City Review, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @mrsgreenstein or on her website: www.shannonfrostgreenstein.wordpress.com