Poet Philip Schultz on losing track of nearly everything on the road.
"....I don't mention that I dread airport ticket machines and that I always attempt to find a human being, many of whom are capable of sympathy, to check me in. I don't mention that I don't process announcements of train stations and have to check at every stop to make sure I haven't missed mine. I avoid recounting the arguments I've had with my GPS, which apparently doesn't know its left from its right. Nor do I explain that my anxiety is so powerful I often can't leave my seat in the waiting area to go to a restroom because I fear that the moment I do my flight will board, even though I arrived an hour early. Traveling has always been hell for me, though now at least I know why.
I never feel more alone than when I'm traveling. Alone and, to some extent, helpless. The world expects a certain level of competence and can be merciless when this expectation is unmet.
But somehow I always manage to get to my destination, and on time. The ordeal is mitigated by the fact that my dyslexic son appears to have freed himself of much of this struggle. The self-knowledge that relieves Eli of my frenzied anxiety and self-doubt comes from his early diagnosis. Through educational support and accommodations, he has learned strategies to cope with the challenges of travel, as well as how to use technology for support.
I can't say how much I loved hearing about his getting lost in Paris on a school trip and using his smartphone to find the Best Western where he was staying. Yes, there were seven Best Westerns in the city, and he and his friends went to three before finding theirs, but he led the way—and at the age of 14! A marvel to me. My younger, nondyslexic son has been able navigate our supermarket's checkout scanners since he was 4, using my credit card and winking at me, knowing how astounded I am.
The future appears to be relenting a little for people like me, people for whom the world never previously seemed to be designed. My older son enjoys traveling, I believe. He went to China last year, and still hasn't stopped talking about the Great Wall and those terra-cotta warriors. My wife and I followed his every word on his travel blog with pride and admiration. Especially me."