No, not the show.
In fact, I never even saw the show Lost. Never. Ever.
I mean lost like lost. Like I hope someone comes out looking for me soon lost. All. Day. Long.
The day started out fine...I was running a bit late, but was looking forward to meeting with one of my advertising clients that I had not seen in a while. It was perfect timing, as my meeting was to be followed by another meeting with a new advertiser, who happened to be located right around the corner from her. They are both located in Litchfield, Maine. Litchfield is further away in my "territory," per say, and I don't travel to the town very often. Hence, I am not as familiar as I am in other towns, but am pretty confident in my inner "GPS."
So as I was leaving Petal Pushers Garden Place, (for all of you gardeners, this place is AMAZING)! I asked Lynn, the owner, for directions to my next appointment. She pointed out that it was right down the road...easy to find. And she was right!
My next meeting went perfectly, and I was pretty happy about my morning. I was ahead of schedule, and had to go Lisbon, which SHOULD have been a snap to get to, from where I was...
Remember what it was like BEFORE "GPS?" When we relied on maps or the help of a store clerk or street walker to point us in the right direction? Remember that feeling of...Right????Left????Straight???? You might be a person who has never taken a wrong turn(literally or figuratively) but let me just say that I have(literally and figuratively). But usually, when I do make a wrong turn, I can backtrack quickly and get to where I need to be.
No effing way.
I am going to let you know right now that if you think I have a bit of a potty mouth, you had better believe that words came out of my mouth today that I surprised myself. I am not going to print them, but instead interject with #$^%&&*! when necessary. Also know that throughout most of my journey, the words were in my head, if not flying out yelling at my imaginary passenger.
So from the second appointment, I went left. Confidently left. I was sure that was the way I got there. It was pretty soon, however, that I noticed the road and houses on it did not look familiar. It was when I passed this little miniature lighthouse that I knew I had made a mistake. I had gone so far at this point that I knew I was doomed. Then I saw the sign that I had entered Bowdoin.
I checked the Turner Publishing coverage map. It was right on my seat, and really, don't remember the last time I opened up a real paper map. If I was in Bowdoin, I had a 50/50 shot at ending up in Lisbon. IF and only IF I was heading West.
As I passed a "EAST RT. 10something or other."
Then "Welcome to Richmond."
The complete OPPOSITE direction than I need to be in.
And wouldn't you know that suddenly the huge iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts kicked in. And I don't mean that I was feeling energized.
Yes. I had to peeeeeeee!!!!!!
AND the air conditioner decided to take a break today. Fan-freaking-tastic.
I was on an endless road. No cell service.
But at least I was heading to Gardiner, a little town I am very familiar with, and, trying to look on the bright side, knew I could get to Lisbon from there. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts, again, and ran as fast as you have ever seen a woman in heels run into the ladies room. (I know this might be TMI, but, if you're gonna keep reading this blog, I'm gonna keep sharing. With no apologies. Because, well, it's my blog)! Anyway, I barely made it. Thankfully, (Bryan) I didn't have to pull over.
So it was off to Lisbon...even though I had literally made a huge, un-necessary circle, I felt okay! The sun was coming out, it was breezy, I had made it to the ladies room, and I was on my way!
I called my work-wife, Joy and happily reported that I was on the right track. LaLaLa!!!
But was I?
Why was I seeing signs for the TURNPIKE? I did not want to be on the turnpike! How did I get there!
Holy $%^&. I was on the turnpike!
Getting lost once in a day is one thing...but, TWICE?!?!
God give me strength if I was heading North...
Then I saw the sign that I could go SOUTH. I definitely wanted South. FFFFEEEEEEE-UUUUU.
At least I could get to Lewiston.
Not on my plan for the day, but at this point, I had no other choice!
I was determined to get to....
Then I actually saw an exit for LISBON!
It may be new a new exit...I'm not sure. I had never used the turnpike to get to Lisbon, so I just may have never looked for it. OR...maybe its a new thing?
I still don't know, but if it said Lisbon, I was going to take it!
I felt like Clark Griswold..."Look kids, Big Ben...Parliament...I can't get left..."
And the sunny, breezy relief that I felt AN HOUR before in Gardiner had now turned into a shaky, low-blood-sugar stupor. I was sweating and cursing the as^%ole air conditioner and contemplating using my empty iced coffee cup for another reason...
Then, at the end of the LONGEST exit road EVER, I came to a fork.
If I remember correctly, left went to Lisbon, right to Sabattus. OR something like that. I was so hot and hungry, maybe I wasn't thinking straight. I went left.
Nothing looked familiar, even at that point.
I came to an intersection that I saw an old general store...maybe it was open for business...maybe not, but I couldn't risk it. It looked pretty deserted. A little scary.
And no road signs. Anywhere. Where in hell was I?
I took another left. At this point, I had been on the road for two hours. I think I became a little delirious.
Then I saw this:
And just like that, I was on a dirt road. W.t.f.
I drove on. Stubbornly thinking that this couldn't go on forever! Corner after corner, but NOTHING BUT DIRT.
I finally got a signal on my phone.
I called the office.
Now, I may be known as a bit of a "clown." And maybe even a little "dramatic."
So, naturally, Duane thought I was kidding around.
"Nope. Really. Lost." #$%^ ^&* $%^^&%%.
"Where are you?" He asked. Now concerned.
"Um, Duane? I. Don't. Even. Know." Its like when you say you lost your keys or shoes and someone asks you, "Where did you lose them?"
I couldn't give him any info...I told him the name of the last road I was on, but wasn't sure of what town that was in...I actually felt worse for him! He tried to help, but I told him I was going to turn WAAAAY around and just head back to the unknown town on the unknown road. At this point, I was thinking I had crossed the border into CANADA and would be screwed because my driver's license is still MIA.
I had to pee again.
I turned back, and finally made it to the first intersection.
Okay. The moment of truth.
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
I literally parked my car and "looked down one as far as I could,"(Robert Frost, if you're wondering. Thanks, Mrs. Nickless).
I know I had gone left before, so, even though it didn't SEEM that-right-would-be-right-I-went-right.
When I saw the sign for Rt. 196 I think a tear of joy sprang to my eye. Oh, wait. No. That was rain coming in my window. Plus, I think I was dehydrated, so there would be no tears. But I was pretty effing thrilled.
I almost expected to be escorted in by the Sheriff of something...I had lost communication with ground control at Turner Publishing Headquarters...
But I finally made it into LLLLLIIIIISSSSSSBBBBBBBBOOOONNNN!
I was so happy I made it to my customer's parking lot I jumped out of the truck and started telling my harrowing story to the poor ladies that had come to pick up their dry-cleaning. They had NO idea what to make of this wild-eyed crazy lady that was breathless with excitement at just being in a familiar Laundromat parking lot in Lisbon, Maine!
I was back, baby!
So that's it. The story of my day.
I made it to all of my appointments, got a good deal accomplished, and learned a ton about "off-roading."
What A Day!
Hope yours was better.
It must have been.
"Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood
And Sorry I could not travel both
And Be One Traveller long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the under growth~"
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is one of my favorites. We had to memorize it during my Junior year at Jay High School. Mrs. Dobie Nickless was one of the best teachers I ever had. I thought of this poem as I thought back on my day and my life, and how true each line is. Literally and Figuratively.
Thanks for Reading.