Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"beverly glen" or "how to maximize your mileage"

i've always had a terrible sense of direction. i panic as soon as i think i'm lost and i'm almost always lost so i spend a lot of car time sweating and shaking and going over landmarks in my head. being lost in small town upstate new york is not a big deal... being lost in boston is a bigger deal. as soon as i got to boston and realized the entire infrastructure was based on bovine feeding patterns i almost cried. what kind of city paves cow paths?! i spent the whole summer getting to places hours after my estimated time of arrival, dangerously close to a mental breakdown, muttering to friends that i would be camped out in their apartment until the train opened in the morning.

things changed a little when i moved to los angeles. the rental car was a challenge, but we crossed that bridge and i found i had a pretty decent sense of north, south, east west. too far west, you're in the ocean... too far east... you're in one of those other states, too far south, mexico, north... the valley. not too hard. of course with my new apartment there is no good way to get to work. either i have to take the hellishly congested excuse for a freeway called the 405 or else take a curvy, scary canyon road all the way up to the top, pray that i don't launch myself off a cliff, and somehow manage not to hit anyone when i get to the parking lot. that's a lot of pressure before 9:30 in the morning. this is the reason i usually brave the 405 and inch along some road in the valley until i reach the parking lot of death.

the other night i was fed up with the stupid freeway and decided to take a road called "beverly glen". sounds nice and sweet, like fern gully or something, right? this road cuts all the way down to my apartment. it's practically door to door service if you survive. i twisted and i turned and i made it down the canyon and i was so proud of myself! yeah! no death! of course the party stopped when i reached the intersection of sunset and beverly glen. now, all the signs say "beverly glen right lane" but what they really mean is "beverly glen, right lane, then please haul your ass across four lanes to get into the left lane so you can make the actual turn: we sincerely hope you got that from the sign". i always miss this turn... always. it's a mental road block. so, as usual, i found myself in a boston-like situation where i didn't really know where i was or where i was going or how to get back to a road that actually led to my apartment. my first instinct was to return to beverly glen. i was like a homing pigeon without an actual sense of direction.

i took a road called hilgard (sounds like a not-so-fierce viking warrior, this should have been my first clue that i was making a mistake) hilgard took me to rochester street which i knew crossed beverly somewhere so i took it, but it curved and i was on something else and the i was on national and i crossed wilshire so i knew i was going the wrong way and i took veteran to get back and then all of a sudden, i was back on sunset! what?! how?! who?! i have no idea how the hell i got where i was going. eventually i got back to beverly glen and made it home. this was two hours later. i was shaking and sweating. i have vowed never to drive again. who wants to let me crash at their apartment until the train opens up?

1 comment:

Angela said...

I get lost in Rochester a lot (which is suppossed to be impossible). One day after student teaching, I tried to take another road home and I ended up stuck on Lyle Ave. (ho district) in a traffic jam, the sun was going down, and all the brother's were eyeing little white girl in shit honda. I was freaked too. I feel your pain.