Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Honing Plan B

OK, it’s tomorrow now, at least by yesterday’s standards, so here’s the promised continuation.

The only problem with Plan B was not actually a problem with Plan B at all, but with the executor of Plan B. (That would be moi.) Plan B includes, at the destination end of the train ride, a walk of a half mile in the shape of an L. A half a mile walk in no way constitutes an impediment for me. Neither, for most people, would a walk in the shape of an L.

I however, not being most people, managed to get lost on the way back to the train in the evening. By that time, I’d traveled the route three times already – twice by bike on the preceding day, and once on foot, that morning. Although I’d gotten lost on two of those other occasions as well, I’d been able to re-orient myself by implementing the detailed map provided by Lindi -- color-coded, with arrows drawn in and written instructions added. But by this point I felt unwilling to accept that I still needed the map and refused to pull it out. Consequently I walked around in a series of concentric trapezoids until I chanced upon some train tracks and followed along them on an uneven bed of giant gravel until I came to the platform I had set out from earlier in the day.

By then I was exhausted from carrying my stuff for half an hour on cement when I was pooped to begin with, and on top of that, of course I had missed the train and had to wait an extra half hour for the next one. Had you met me for the first time at that moment, you'd have been left with the impression that I was a surly malcontent of a person.

Please do not be tempted to write in and ask the popular foolish question of where I went wrong. If I knew that, I wouldn’t have done it, would I? The only possible clue I can give you is that sometimes street patterns flip over in my mind like a fried egg, causing everything to seem the reverse of what it was before. For example, numbered streets decrease in the direction I was sure they should increase.

The next comment that comes to the mind of the foolish and insensitive is that I must be dyslexic. Nothing could be further from the truth, which I can prove by my ability to correctly spell any word that I have seen once. In addition, I can project words and whole phrases and sentences onto an invisible billboard in front of me if I need to edit or discuss them. Dyslexic people cannot begin to do those things.

Lindi has the capacity to hold a map of the entire metropolitan area of Portland in her head at once. I am able to hold several smaller maps of parts of Portland in my head simultaneously, but if I were to press the print button the resulting map sections would not match up at the edges.

Plan B will work splendidly once I master the part of it that doesn’t follow a track or a white line drawn on the road.


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