Here’s the problem: I didn’t come equipped with a sense of direction, not even in a general sense, nor have I acquired one in the course of my travels. Big deal, right? In the grand scheme of things, a lousy sense of direction isn’t much of a hardship, especially when one considers maps and gps and the position of the sun. Well, guess what, I can’t read a map. I can’t program a gps system. And it’s usually dark or cloudy or noontime as I tour parts unknown.
On the plus side, I can tell up from down and, quite often, right from left. When the technical terms start flying, like ‘head north for a quarter of a mile, then turn east,’ well, that’s just gibberish. Some try to guide me with landmarks, ‘turn left at the giant taco,’ which works like a charm as long as the taco is in the middle of the road waving sparklers. Otherwise I sail right on past, oblivious and in a hurry to get somewhere else I don’t recognize.
Other drivers, the ones I’m sharing the road with, honk and tailgate and gesture obscenely. My very obvious predicament doesn’t engender sympathy among my brethren. Their vigorous encouragement to get the $@#! out-of-the-way only adds to the stress. Gas stations aren’t the help they used to be, either. They’re too busy selling lottery tickets and Big Gulps to give you much attention, so the best bet is to ask a customer. Ideally, one who’s driving a truck. Ideallier, one who’s a cop. Idealliest, one who’s a cab driver.
What I need is a navigator. A confident, knowledgeable individual who can get me where I’m going and back again without unscheduled side trips. Someone who knows the ropes. Someone who knows his / her way around this very confusing planet. Or maybe I should buy a bus pass. In a way, bus drivers are navigators, they know their way around. Remember Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners? He was a bus driver. Loud and full of bluster, I know, but he probably had a very keen sense of direction.
Me? I’d settle for a vague directional orientation. I don’t need latitude and longitude and equators and degrees, just a bit of insight into which direction I’m heading. I’ve never known, not literally. In the figurative sense, I’m probably better off in the dark.
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