Nancy, “Which way do we go?”
Cheryl, “North” (my response for all directionally related questions)
Nancy, “The options are right or left.”
Cheryl, “No, wait, it’s left.”
Cheryl, “No, I don’t know, it’s right, go right.”
Nancy, “Really, I almost hit the barricade.”
Cheryl, “Shit, we’re totally going the wrong way.”
Nancy, “How the hell did we do that?”
Cheryl, “I don’t know.”
Nancy, “Where are we?”
Cheryl, “We’re on the Bay Bridge.”
Nancy, “Can we turn around?”
Cheryl, “It’s a bridge, notice the water on both sides?”
Nancy, “Siri, how do you turn around on the Bay Bridge?” It’s like she’s gone into shock. Not a single reply.
Cheryl, “What is her problem?”
Nancy, “She’s recalculating.”
Cheryl, “Cool heads always prevail.”
Nancy, “Siri, can we turn around on Treasure Island?” Silence.
Cheryl, “Take her off your friends list.”
iPhone, “Maybe you should ask Alexa?”
Nancy, “You’re fighting with an AI, could you focus on the problem at hand?”
I start googling information, “No, they have no on ramp going east from Treasure Island.”
Nancy, “Damn, how did this happen?”
Cheryl, “I didn’t know we had to make a choice.”
Nancy, “Forks are always unexpected.”
Cheryl, “It should be my policy to decide and then do the opposite.”
Nancy, “Really, that’s your plan?”
Cheryl, “It has some merit?”
Nancy, “It’s the definition of gambling, only worse.
iPhone, “Gambling, taking risky action in the hope of a desired result.”
Cheryl, “Siri, what are the chances of an earthquake happening right now?”
iPhone, “I have reports of 4 earthquakes around your location.”
Cheryl, “The bridge would collapse, but if you make it to the off-ramp, I think we’d be safe.”
Nancy, “Stop it.”
Mackenzie, from the back of the car, “Are we lost?”
Cheryl, “Honey, we’re all lost, but the truth is we know exactly where we are, it’s just not where we want to be.”
Nancy, “Isn’t that always the case?”
Mackenzie, “We’re lost.”
Cheryl, “We’re exploring.”
Mackenzie, “I’m hungry, is there a McDonald’s nearby?”
In unison, “No!”
iPhone, “Here’s what I found, there are three McDonald’s in the next six miles, exit Wake Avenue and proceed two blocks east, the facility is on your right.”
Cheryl, “Is she kidding?”
Nancy, “She’s Sirious.”
iPhone, “Good one.”
I’m driving with my sister and niece to the lake and we decide (willy nilly) to take a route that I’ve taken maybe once in my life. We got turned around. Or maybe I wasn’t paying attention? Okay, I was playing solitaire on my iPhone. But that’s beside the point. Now we’re on the Bay Bridge, going the wrong way, and it’s smack in the middle of commute. Finding out the long way, some decisions are irreversible, what can you do?
We decide there’s nothing we can do but enjoy the view. I guess that’s the answer we’ve all been looking for. You find yourself in some ridiculous situation, you’re headed in the wrong direction, you feel helpless, and one by one your options start to dwindle. I find myself asking over and over again, how the hell did I get here?
Maybe next time I’ll silence all that neurotic chatter, look around, and figure out what’s good. There is always something good. Like the San Francisco skyline, the company, the hot cup of coffee in my hand, the full tank of gas, and we have Cheese-its. It could be worse.
The detour took us about twenty-five minutes to correct, not a catastrophe, and now our only issue is to find the closest McDonald’s. As Siri now markets for McDonald’s, I’m sure we’ll be fine.
We both order quarter pounders with fries, all this unexpected stress required a little substance, and now we’re just waiting for the indigestion to kick in. We feast on fries, as I take over the wheel, flying down 80 EAST in an attempt to make up time. I’m like Parnelli Jones, only female, and much less talented.
Life is funny, you never know when you’ll encounter a curve in the road, a surly Siri, or in our case an unexpected fork. I used to think my life was a solution to something, exactly what we may never know, but clearly navigation is not my panacea. We discovered even when you choose the wrong route, or it chooses you, we have the grit to survive, the ability to recalculate, and hopefully enough sense to enjoy the blasted view.
As Antoine de Saint-Exupery says to truly live is to be slowly born, the process is painful, and somewhat messy. Come to find out our purpose is not to arrive at our destination in a timely manner, it’s stumbling off course, holding on to your humor, and prevailing despite the inconvenience of barriers.
If only she had gone North?
I’m Living in the Gap, drop by anytime, I’ll help you recalibrate your life.
- “Plato says that the unexamined life is not worth living. But what if the examined life turns out to be a clunker as well?” Kurt Vonnegut
- According to Edgar (as in Allen Poe) the best things in life make you sweaty?
- “Siri, what is the meaning of life?” “A movie.”
This post was previously published on Living in the Gap and is republished here with permission from the author.
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