Wednesday, April 27, 2016


On the way back from Asheville the other night I stopped off at about 9 at a Sheetz to get gas and something to eat. Not the best food, but the quickest way to get something less than utterly disgusting and get gas. I was proud of my logic.

So I filled up and got me a fish sandwich, put some Dinosaur Jr. into the car stereo and was psyched for the last leg of my journey. I got back on the highway. A few minutes down the road I saw a sign that said Statesville 13 miles, Asheville 112 miles and I cursed myself mightily. I had made the rookie error of getting back on the highway going the wrong direction. I probably added 25-30 minutes to my trip by the time I was able to turn around.

I have speculated before on the way that Google Maps has caused my tendency to learn roads and internalize directions to atrophy. I trust the device almost entirely, so I space out and don't learn my way around. Cary and Raleigh, in particular, remain terrae incognitae for me to a great extent, especially Cary, because I let Sergei and Larry do the heavy lifting, space out, and coast along going tra la la or, just as likely, perseverating about something I will have forgotten about in 4 days.

But this was the first time that it made me think that not only was I not learning specific regions, but that my attentiveness to direction in general had somehow begun to slip. Now, it was, admittedly, rather late, and I had had a long day of learning about the ravages of the opioid epidemic, and I am also getting older, but still. Getting on the interstate in the wrong direction is a new one.

Excitement about the fish sandwich and rock and roll admittedly played their parts as well.

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