Short Road

3 a.m. I didn't even bother going to bed. Hell, I didn't even bother booking my hotel room for the night.  There were parties on three floors and the bar open until 2.  I got my bags from the front desk and got an Uber to the airport.  The key to staying up for 48 hours on 4 hours of sleep, for me at least, is to keep moving or keep talking.  The mad rush of interacting with as many people as possible and making sure I didn’t miss any event I would regret began to take its toll. Everything ran together and nothing stood out.

A white SUV arrived to pick me up on the wrong side of the hotel so I slogged up a grassy hill with my guitar, suitcase, and backpack to the adjacent street and pulled myself into the backseat where I slouched for my 30 minute ride to the airport outside of town. Easily could have taken longer in a northeastern city but it was the middle of the night, and this was the midwest, where a straight highway can stretch over the horizon to a sunrise that at this hour you hope comes sooner than advertised. 

For a brief time, at this point in my life, I toyed with the idea of driving for a ride share company to make some extra cash so I asked the driver how he liked it.  He said he was new to it but liked it so far.  I had a feeling he was just being upbeat to his company's customer. Normally he drove a taxi but decided to start driving for Uber because his taxi business had slowed down. As we talked more he told me about the costs associated with his taxi. He payed $30k for his taxi medallion but he doesn't need one for Uber.  He also pays a monthly fee to a taxi company that he is having to drive for his company's competitor to help pay for.  This equation doesn't make sense to me but I've been up for too long and the drone of wheels on a highway lull me into mumbling my agreement.

I feel for the guy. His is another industry disrupted by the new way we look at goods and services.  Like the record labels of old the medallion was a gate keeper. A price of entry to the market, but why would I pay twice the price for a ride to the airport based on a taxi fare versus keeping my ride cheap. I left him a good rating and wished him well.  That's how the invisible hand that guides business works now. The real payment is 5 stars and a half asleep wish for good luck.

Short Road
By: Danny Whitecotton

Weary gray morning but I make my way
To the city along the interstate
Sell what I can pull myself up by the bootstraps
You're not living unless you work yourself to death

Living on coffee and hand rolled cigarettes
They keep me fed until dinner time comes
Work a little cheaper, work a little longer
Till that sky matches my eyes

Short road to ruin if you don't stay between the lines
Short road to hell if your intentions are as good as mine
Short road home if it's been a good day
Short life we live when you're selling it all away

Been at this longer than I like to admit
Move from one hustle to another
Now I drive folks around who won't remember my face
Blind ambition to save a dollar

Short road to ruin if you don't stay between the lines
Short road to hell if your intentions are as good as mine
Short road home if it's been a good day
Short life to live when you're selling it all away

Make my way home an hour or two
The city I work I can't afford
Do all I can pull myself up by the bootstraps
But it's never enough, never enough

Short road to ruin if you don't stay between the lines
Short road to hell with intentions as good as mine
Short road home if it's been a good day
Short life we live when we're selling it all away