Uberman Online

Journal of An Uber Driver


I got a call request from terminal 2, where I picked up an engineering student from near Seoul, he said, on his way to graduate school in statistical mathematics in high temperature mechanical geometry at UCSD. I told him that I’m familiar with the subject and had once had access to a lab investigating very high temperature processes, my interest being artistic. I was a ceramist.

His English comprehension wasn’t swift but his pronunciation was excellent, midwestern TV. He answered every question with the same reply. Engineers have objectives; they father children, pay child support. My Korean rider in a demanding tone asks me, “What is the reason!” raising his voice, he repeated this, “What is the reason? Tell me the reason why you make music. Why? What is the reason?”

“It was a strategy to survive, rather than a plan to make money. To survive aging by not resigning. The challenge of learning music theory and its conventions and state of the art technology, doing something that works or doesn’t on the hearing a listener gives to it?

A new San Diego resident (can’t spell name), from Seoul, Korea, exited my car at the circular fountain by the entrance to Super Luxo Towers, lit like an extension of Aventine. The tip wasn’t exciting. Body image can be so important.