Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Marathons Are Evil

Is this what I get for not paying more attention to my father's marathon running? I left my apartment at 8:30 this morning to drive to the car repair place, which is a half-hour drive away. Now it is 10:30 and I have just returned home, and I never did arrive at the car repair place. Why? Because nearly every road on the entire north side of the river was blocked off for the California International Marathon. My father is not running in it this year, but he has run in it about eight or ten times before, and I'm sure he'd have known what date it was scheduled for. If only I had paid attention! Also if I'd paid more attention during the years that he did run it, I'd have a better idea of what its route is and might be able to figure out how to drive around the entire 26.2-mile monstrosity to get to the car repair place. But as it is, no such luck.

It didn't take me an entire two hours to give up on trying to get to the car repair place, either. No, it took me about 45 minutes to give up. The rest of the time was spent driving in circles, not being able to find my way back home either, because all the major routes I'd normally take were blocked off and I'd been diverted so far from my intended routes that I was lost. Do you have any idea how strange it is to find oneself lost in a city that one has lived in for twenty-nine and a half years already? I was lost right in the vicinity of various places I'm extremely familiar with - my university, my dead grandmother's house, the entrance from the opposite side of the river to the park whose other entrance is right in my neighborhood - and I knew the vicinity I was in, but I was lost. I didn't know which direction to drive to get back to these landmarks. Or I didn't know which streets would take me in the direction I wanted to go. I kept trying to follow the sun, thinking, "I know if I drive northeast from here I'll get back to streets I'm familiar with," but every time I turned onto a street that initially appeared to be heading north or east, it would immediately curve around and I'd end up heading southwest. I started following random other cars, realizing that most of their drivers were also frustrated at not being able to get past the marathon route, and hoping they'd have a better idea of how to get around than I did. None of them seemed to. Eventually when I found my way back to a street that took me back to the south side of the river, it seemed to be just sheer random luck that I wandered onto it.

I was very glad to see my own side of the river again. I'm not generally very fond of my side of the river, because it is sorely lacking in civilization and possesses only one bookstore for twenty miles in either direction, and that bookstore is a tiny little used bookstore which is nowhere near close enough to be very convenient either. However, there is one good thing to be said for my side of the river, and that is that there are no marathons here.
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