Where am I?
I've been a little bit lost for a little bit of every day for 23 years. Every single day for 8,478 days out of my little piece of forever.
Not metaphorically lost, although I've done my fair share of "finding" myself. I mean physically lost. Like, whatever part of the brain tells you where you're currently sitting and now to navigate to the next place you're going to sit just isn't developed. Maybe it's a creative thing. Maybe it's a laziness thing. Maybe it's because I was premature. I think it's because my head is just too full! There's a lot going on up here *taps noggin,* and it doesn't leave a lot of space for maps.
Here are some examples of things obstructing my locational memory:
1. The entire discology of the All American Rejects. Every single song. Also, Motion City Soundtrack, Third Eye Blind and, regrettably, early 2000 Swedish pop bands A*Teens and Play, as well as their American counterpart Dream.
2. Entire movie scripts for the following works of cinema: Bring It On, Mean Girls, Spiceworld, The Princess Diaries (1). Not just the quotable lines. I can speak the entire script. I could perform a one-woman show. I could survive the inevitable zombie apocolypse and then slowly transcribe the entirety of these films with a sharpened chisel on the wall of my cave hideaway. Just kidding, I would never survive an apocalypse. I would kill myself immediately. But I am not kidding about the chisel.
3. Any funny anecdote or piece of gossip anyone has ever told me about someone I do not know. If your cousin once went cow tipping but got charged by the cow and had to run for their life, I remember that. If your great aunt had an illicit affair with a local politician and kept it a secret for dozens of years but finally revealed it on her death bed, I remember that. If your high school nemesis once had an explosive bowel movement at an iHop, I remember that. I am a vault for stranger's low moments.
4. Ghost stories. These have been carefully collected and curated from 23 years worth of horror movie trailers, children's TV shows, books, word of mouth and nights spent hunched in my bed reading r/paranormal.
5. Any piece of criticism anyone has ever given me about my writing, constructive or otherwise. Luckily, criticism about my physical appearance or personality just evaporate between my ears because I have the rock-solid self confidence that comes with never looking in the mirror or giving a shit about anyone other than myself. But any passing comment about an errant comma or a run-on sentence sits fresh in my mind, ripe with resentment. It's one of my best traits.
6. The handshake from The Parent Trap (1998)
So there, that's why I can't navigate to work without the aid of Google Maps after a month of commuting. That's why I can't tell Uber drivers which route to take or which exit to look out for. That's why I will never remember your address, or even what your front door looks like.
All this is to say that I see every street corner with fresh eyes and furrowed brow, and I'm sorry for always using all of the shared data on our family plan.