I get lost. A lot. Although, I've lived here for years, I only know how to get to the beer and wine store, two sushi places, the spa, my local adult novelty store, and several shoe stores in my area. I rarely travel more than 6.5 miles from my home.
I pretend that I know the directions to lots of other places. I always think that I'll be able to find where I need to go. I always think that I should turn left. I have learned that this means that I should turn right. Terms like East and West mean nothing to me.
A few months ago, Mom gave me an atlas. She smiled at me warmly and told me that she would rest better knowing that I kept it in my car. Now I have an atlas in my car. I feel like one of those people with a Bible in their cars. I always think that they drive around with Bibles because they don't have insurance. I try to drive extra carefully when I am around them. Although, for a few years, I had a piece of turquoise in my car in lieu of insurance. It is supposed to to have protective qualities. I totally believe in the power of turquoise because when I rolled that vehicle down the side of a mountain with a recalled seatbelt, I walked away with only one little cut caused by the large knives that flew up from the backseat. I had a perfectly logical reason for having knives in the backseat.
I also have an almanac in the car. I like almanacs. It's fun for me to know at a glance the local currency, what the language of choice is and if people can read that language or not, and how many people have toilets in their homes in any particular country. I like to know how old people are when they die and how many people live per square mile. I keep it in my car in the event that I have to wait in line at the Post Office and need people to think that I am smarter than I really am.
A few weeks ago, I found myself lost in another state. I pulled over and reached for the atlas. It turns out that Mom gave me an illustrated comparative atlas of surgical techniques. I didn't even know that there was such an atlas. Mom knows that I love medical conditions due to my hypochondria. The book 101 Diseases You Don't Want to Get was one of the best gifts Mom has ever given me. I refer to it all the time. Especially when I am planning travel to developing nations or making an appointment with my doctor.
After reviewing a few hundred pages in the book, I decided that I was in dire need of an esophageal resection. I called my doctor. Dr. Kilmer (sexy name, not a sexy guy)assured me that my esophagus was just fine and then gave me directions. I have very good health insurance and I ended up safely at my destination.
Yesterday, at my doctor's appointment, I thanked him for his roadside assistance. He winked and gave me a compass. He even answered my questions about how to install it. It turns out that even if I stick it to the windshield upside down, it will still tell me which direction I am traveling. What a clever device.
I got lost on my way home, but at least I knew which direction I was going.
Why doesn't someone get me GPS?