Most days, my life is akin to a hamster on a wheel; circuitous journeys leading nowhere except back to where I started. I mean that figuratively, of course, and yet:
My sister visited, from Georgia, last week. I attempted to retrieve her from our “international” airport. It was very late at night and I was in my obligatory jammies and slippers as I left to scoop her up, but obviously I should’ve worn a red nose and big clown shoes because the entrance and exit to that place is A CIRCUS.
What. The. Hell. Round and round we go. Where we stop? Nobody freaking knows.
I’m not a traffic circle neophyte. I lived in Philadelphia. California. New Jersey, for God’s sake. I know how to negotiate the spokes of a traffic circle adequately. But this? Inexplicable. I cannot be the only poor sap who kept waiting for Candid Camera to appear. All I could see was one sign that looked like a broken nipple and a few green signs the size of playing cards hailing several major artery choices. At a loss, I just kept following the Mercedes in front of me, not because I thought he would lead me back to my neighborhood, but because he was cute.
Eventually, I found a way out of that mess, and it wasn’t without two near collisions and expletives I haven’t used since I got locked in a bathroom at a bar in Penn State, circa 1986.
Three days later, I awakened at 4 a.m. to return her to that hotbed of international travel. I don’t have to tell you how sharp and intuitive I was at 4 in the morning. I dumped her off at the curb, threw her carry-on through the window, blew a kiss and tore outta there. Because at 4:30 a.m., apparently, the security guards think my little car, with no one else in front of me, behind me, aside me or anywhere within a 6-mile radius, needed to move. Or they would be forced to issue me a summons. A summons for what? To appear before the Clown Court of Stupid Roadways?
You would think since I battled The Seventh Circle of Hell three days prior, I would’ve known which spoke to follow to be led back home, but honestly, it was as if I were in Oz, lying in a field of poppies and completely lost my ability to function. Round and round I went. Again. Except this time, with morning breath and sheet marks on my cheek. I won’t bore you with the ugly details, suffice it to say that what is normally a 10-minute trip home took me on a 20-mile sightseeing tour of the Central Scranton Expressway.
WHY? This is not an airport where congestion was ever an issue. I have never, not once, been in a snarl of traffic heading in or out of this airport. We were all just fine with the way it was! Whose idea was this, anyway? Satan’s?
It’s unnecessary to further complicate our lives in the name of creating something out of nothing. Sometimes, change isn’t great. Sometimes, the change gives me headaches and hot flashes. I don’t enjoy riding that asphalt merry-go-round, erroneously heading toward Scranton, unless Krispy Kreme is in the cards. I have enough endless circles in my life. Enough days that whirl around with no culmination in sight. This labyrinth of the lost is a loser and this hamster is not happy.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at email@example.com.