On Getting Lost

For many of us, not knowing where we are, or missing a connection, is a fading pastime.

Yep, pastime, as in amusement, rather than risk, event, or hazard.

First, instead of the maps we make in our heads, a lot of us hold easily updated maps in our hands.  Second, if we don’t know where the person we’re supposed to meet is, we can phone them, while on the go.  I know I’m stating the obvious.

This is a letter, then, to my 20-something year old self, who, upon getting off a train in a foreign country and wondering where the folks she was supposed to meet were… and still not knowing the answer six hours later because they’d hitched a ride with a backup drummer for a well known band and hijinks ensued, was extremely annoyed.

Dear self, remember what this feels like.  Not just the inconvenience, but the disconnectedness and the feeling of want, the desire for resolution, the frustration of not-knowing.   It all works out in the end, and you get to tease those same folks now and then about the aftermath, thanks to a contract you made with one of them, but this not-knowing?  It’s rare now.  It’s unusual, especially as it stretches on long past the time when everyone would be able to charge phones or relay a text through a third party, or generally check in.

Also rare is the hum-drumness of disconnection – the trope of not being able to reach someone on their cell is a tired mystery-driver now… it signals danger, rather than just being out of reach.

So, self, nearly two decades ago, you were completely disconnected, many times.  You got lost.  You lost others.  You lived through it in rather interesting ways, and the results make for very amusing stories.  Remember, then, the frustration and the worry that you’re the one who missed the connection, that you’re at the wrong train station, and remember how many times you have, in fact, gone to the wrong station, and how that led to something.

Something that still isn’t marked on a Google map.