Last night, Andrew and I drove to the airport so Andrew could catch a flight to Las Vegas for a business trip. I then drove home alone. It is a simple drive—only about twenty minutes, with just one exit to remember—and I’ve done it many times with no problem. I did not need a GPS. However, I used a GPS—just to try it out for the first time (it was a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad)—and can confidently say that this little device will change my life. Like sight to a blind man, I have been given the gift of a sense of direction; NorCal is no longer a sprawling tangle of highways and exits and shopping centers but a navigable, digital series of puzzles for our GPS to solve. The best part? I can just sit back while she solves those puzzles, then ease my foot onto the gas as she dictates the solutions, road by road, turn by turn.
What if, last night, I had missed my single exit? It would have been no problem. I would not have had to feel my heart rate accelerate as I realized I was fast on my way to San Francisco. I would not have had to pull over at a gas station to call Andrew, praying he hadn’t yet boarded the plane. I could have simply glanced over at the GPS with a shrug and a mildly apologetic smile, and she would have done the work of getting me home—without judgment, without confusion, without a disbelieving tone in her voice if I expressed uncertainty of whether I should be going north or south. Just directions! Clear, simple directions. I feel liberated.
I may have used the GPS only once so far, but I already know my favorite feature: the GO HOME button. After letting Andrew out of the car last night, I simply tapped it, and on we went—homeward-bound. Such security; such safety. It was almost magical. I could have been hopelessly entwined within the most twisting, complex highway system; I could have been shaking as I drove through an eerily desolate town; and all I would have had to do was tap that button. It’s so—graceful. Go home. Yes, that is exactly what I want. Take me there, my GPS. Take me there.