Remember back in the 90’s when it was weird and alarming to take rides from strangers? Before Uber and Lift normalized this sort of thing. Keep that in mind as I share this short story with you.
I read somewhere that the Golden Gate Bridge attracts 10-15 million tourists a year!
A college friend of mine who is originally from Nebraska had a conference in San Francisco and looked me up in the late 90’s.
We met up at a now closed record store downtown. I previewed the new Sarah McLaughlin album at a listening station while waiting.
This song was arresting even through the headphones. It haunted me that whole day and beyond,
“I leave you with your misery
A friend who won’t betray
I pull you from your tower
I take away your pain…if you’d only let yourself believe.”
We had a great time touring the city on foot, catching up. We arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge in the late afternoon.
My buddy and I were approached by an overly friendly stranger shortly after taking this picture. I dodged his rapid fire questions but my friend answered in full detail. I had a bad feeling.
When the stranger laid out the obvious hustle,
“Hey, you’ve been on your feet all day, my car is nearby let me drive you back into town. I can show you where the locals hangout.”
I had to nearly shove my friend in the opposite direction as he was clearly taking the bait. I talked over him and lied saying we weren’t alone and we had a ride. “No thanks, creep,” said the little voice in my head. My friend was shocked. “Why did you turn a ride away? I’m freezing and tired.” I explained my suspicions and got an, “ok, paranoid” side ways glance. With a “well he seemed like a nice guy,” shrug.
I guess we’ll never know. Thankfully.