Recently, a friend entertained me during an interminable paratransit ride by reciting all the totally cool things about the new GPS app in her smart phone. “It even tells me where all my favorite restaurants are.”
“You mean that while you’re munching in your favorite Mexican restaurant, it’ll tell you your favorite Indian restaurant is 1.2 miles at three o’clock and your favorite Greek restaurant is 4.5 miles at six o’clock and then reads you what’s on their menus? That puts a whole new spin on meal planning.”
“And it even tells me all the landmarks I pass by. And what street I’m on and how far I am from the next street and what its name is and what kind of intersection it is and a whole lot more.”
“But does it tell you when the light has changed?” With that, we reached the end of our journey and our conversation.
I’m a GPS fan. I make it my business to know exactly where I am, plus or minus sixteen feet. But I don’t require the precise instant I pass the epicenter of the Hancock Building. I figure that since I can’t see it, just knowing it’s off to my right somewhere is reassuring enough.
Walking my well-traveled route home from work, I like to clear my head of accumulated minutiae. I give my earbuds a rest. I listen to birds and people and dogs. I ponder the imponderable. I sing entire albums (Sgt. Peppers being my most recent). Last Thursday, I named all the U. S. Presidents in order, except I forgot Franklin Pierce. Did you know that only half of the fifty states are home to a major league sports team? Or that a nine-inch cherry pie contains 64 cubic inches of edible pie?
Blindness has made me an auditory learner. But I become satiated when, every waking hour, I hear voices. I seek respite from the incessant data chatter. Granted, my musings about U. S. Presidents may be trivial compared to menus of your favorite restaurants. One person’s FYI is another’s TMI. This maxim is verified by my wife’s resonant groan when I begin my evening monologue with, “You know, Honey, I was thinking on my walk home from work…”