Sunday, August 23, 2009

Roads? Where I'm Going I Don't Need Roads.

Yesterday I went back to the future. I tried to get the wireless connection working on my ancient laptop, but couldn't, so I took it to the local Apple dealer instead.

The University of Illinois was brimming with activity this past weekend. Apparently classes begin Monday and students were filling the streets in droves as they moved into their new quarters. I didn't know where the campus Apple dealer was located and neither did all the PC owners I asked, so I drove around and around all of the one-way streets trying to find it.

After hearing that even laptops can become extinct unless you spend more money to fix them than it would cost to purchase a new laptop, I left the parking lot that was closest to the Apple center. I needed to turn right, but I wasn't allowed to turn right. Right would have taken me directly home. Instead I kept driving left down one-way streets until it got to the point where I felt I was spiraling downward into the bowels of Champaign, Illinois.

Yes, I know those two words – bowels and Champaign – clearly do not belong in the same sentence, but you have to understand how annoying it is to drive and drive and not be able to get to where you need to be. Very frustrating.

But, optimist that I am, I ventured onward. Then suddenly, with absolutely no idea how I arrived on what looked to be a bicycle path, I saw students staring at me as they walked around my car, oblivious to the fact that I was pretending to be "Security" for the campus. Finally I saw a road that took me (again) in the opposite direction. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me," I said sympathetically to myself.

All the while I'm thinking – the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and I am creating a web of non-intersecting tangents that are taking me further and further away from my destination. It was like running in quicksand. All I wanted to do was find some familiar territory.

It was like the time I went to visit the man who would one day become my ex-husband. On my way to visit him before we got married, I drove through a neighborhood that kept bringing me back to the same street corner. I should have taken it as a sign, but I didn't. And every time I arrived there, I looked around and thought, "How does this keep happening?"

I think, after having had numerous years in which to ponder this mystery, that I have some defective gene that pulls me in the wrong direction. Please see my previous post, Driving Dilemmas, for more proof that I do indeed have this as yet undiscovered defective gene.

(Photo is from IMBD - Internet Movie Data Base – a clip from the movie, Back To The Future, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd)

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