It dawned on me today, I have no idea where I live.
Heaven help me if someone were to ask me for directions. Wait, they already did. The conversation went as follows:
“So where are you guys living in Smalltown?”
Oh, we are near the Landing.
“What road is that?”
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Well, shit. I have no fucking idea what road.
I can’t blame it entirely on modern technology. You see, every day Elvis tells me what route to take to and from work. He doesn’t say street names. He just says things like, “In a quarter mile, turn left.” I have to read the GPS map to see the street names.
Even though I’m looking at the GPS, I’m not reading the street name. I’m looking at the line ahead and thinking, okay, I near to make a 90 degree left turn in 1/2 mile….or I need to curve to the right, but not really turn right in the next 30 seconds.
Sad, but true.
Even before I discovered Elvis, I can still quite honestly say, “I have no idea what road.”
Yes, I live in a development, well people want to know what street that’s off of.
It’s a two land road, just like all the others, right off the main highway, you know that one that goes North and South? Yes, but what is that? Is that Route 35? Route 21? Route 4?
I don’t know. We are at the fork in the road. Quite literally.
You know the spot. There’s a Walgreen’s, then a Costco, that Paws Wet Nose day care is across the street, which is next to Dave’s Supreme Body Building. The post office isn’t far from us. If you go down the road about a half mile and turn left there is a cute yellow house and a big Catholic church.
They ask, “Well it’s near the lake right?”
There’s a lake? Where? No, I don’t think we’re near the lake. We’re near the Landing, but not a lake.
Isn’t Donnelly Funeral Home near you?
What? I have no idea. There is a funeral home, across from the Post Office. It has a small parking lot and is next door to my chiropractor. Is that the one you’re talking about?
“No, I don’t think you’re near the lake.”
Well no shit, Sherlock.
Then they want to know the name of the development we’re in. Unfortunately, by this time in the conversation, my brain has exhausted itself trying to remember a street name. Now you want to know what the name of the development is? Dear Lord, I know it is a red sign with red flags. There are huge power lines that run along the side and there’s a bunch of trees. We get coyotes, turkeys and lots of frogs….at night mostly. Is there an area signed up for those three creatures?
You see, had you not been quizzing me about the streets, I could have very easily told you the name of the development.
This is when it dawned on me….I have no clue where we live.
The problem is, I grew lazy with street names. When I lived in Alaska, this is exactly how I gave directions for getting to our house:
At the McDonald’s intersection turn right.
Go down till you see Amerigas on the right and turn left at that light.
Take the first left past the Duck Pond.
Our house is the one that looks like Hanzel and Gretel live there.
We’re on the right.
People found our house every time.
Well, duh. Who can’t find a house if you identify what landmark is on the corner, versus those little tiny green street signs? If I’m not watching the GPS map that Elvis provides, it’s very likely I drive right past my turn….I can’t see those damn signs until they’re in my review mirror and even then it’s a nano-second visual.
And why are there NO street signs identifying the street you’re traveling on? Yeah, it’s all fine and dandy that I just passed Pilgrim Drive, Rock Avenue, Main Street, Columbus Drive….Broadway. But WHAT IS THIS STREET? No signage.
Heaven forbid you’d need to know. I’m at the corner of Repent Row and cute purple Cape Cod style house, you know the one with the lavender bushes along the white picket fence? Butts right up to a house with yellow, almost gold trim and dark blue siding. On Thursdays and alternate Saturdays they offer a miniature petting zoo for little kids… Oh YEAH! Nope. Not a clue.
To combat this, I’ve tried to call out my street names when Elvis advises me I’m going to be turning. Usually my drive home takes me the same way for the first half. I did pretty good today. The problem though….too many alphabet streets. Christ.
Left on A.
Right on G.
Right on K.
Left on C.
L M N O P….
Really, when did C get behind K?
I won’t even go into how many Commercial Roads, School Lanes, State Streets, Main Avenues and Quarry Drives there are around here. You would think they’re all connected. NOT.
To compound matters, there’s all the routes. Route 3, 7, 12, 21, 34, 73, 666, 102, 54. Seriously. Okay, there’s no Route 666, but somedays there may as well be and I’m on the People Mover Express.
This is also the reason I need Elvis to guide me, cause I have no clue where I’m actually going. And listening to the traffic report in the morning is utterly useless.
“We have a slow down on the 22 all the way back to 48 with the A Street artery cut off. Traffic is picking up on the 78 as you approach the curve but forget about the 127-South and 11-North, those are stand stills all the way back to Downtown Abby. Watch out for the accident on Commercial Drive as you come out of the 509 Exit ramp, the pigs are flying with chocolate covered bacon candy bars throughout the expressway heading west and the due north lanes are just clogged for the 2 right hand 33 westward lanes.”
Yeah, whatever. I think learning Japanese might be easier.
Today, strangely enough, I did pretty darn well on the first half of the drive. However, before I get to the roundabout, I start to pray to the roundabout fairy to get me safely over to “the second exit.” Those things are death traps. Want to give someone a punishment? Send them through these Boston roundabouts. Total and utter chaos. It’s like all of the sudden 4 year olds are behind the wheel. Forget they can’t reach the gas pedal….they have no idea where they’re going.
Once safely pass the guillotine that is the roundabout, I continue on my putt-putt of a drive and eventually have a EUREKA moment.
I know where I’m at! Well, I don’t actually know where I’m at…but I recognize enough to turn off Elvis and continue forth without guidance. It literally goes like this:
Stay to the right, go to the bottom of the hill where the weird boarded up house on stilts is at and go straight.
Continue straight past the fire house and house with unique brick pattern.
Veer to the left at the lovely purple house.
Ignore Elvis when he tells you to turn left after the old gas station, go straight.
Turn right past the big white church….you are homeward bound!
Yes, it’s true. this is how I know where to go. Visuals. Not words on a tiny sign.
The best part of my trip, is at the end when Elvis comes on and says, “You have reached your destination. Ahhh thank you, thank you very much.”
Whew, victory yet again! This production could not be possible without the contribution of Elvis and the Waze app on my iPhone. “Let’s rock and roll baby!”