12 October 2008


So today's the "real" Columbus Day. It means, what, that we're celebrating some guy who got lost on his way to India from Spain.

In celebration of getting lost...hmm, my life would be one of the longest-running holidays. I sometimes tell people that I'm a direct descendant of Columbus and inherited his navigational skills.

I've gone to other countries and gotten lost more times than I count. (Sometimes I think the first foreign phrase I should have learned is Je suis perdue.)

Getting lost can be frustrating or fun, or both. Of course, when you have to be at a certain place at a certain time, it can put a crimp in your plans. However, when you're not in a hurry, you can see all kinds of interesting things and meet even more interesting people. The only problem is that if you try to find them later, you might not: It's hard to get to a place on purpose after you've reached it by getting lost, or at least not going according to plan.

You might say that a good part of my life has been about being lost. After all, I was always in a foreign country, if you will: I never seemed to speak the language, or do anything else, the way the natives and locals did. My body always seemed to be in the wrong place; I was out of place in my body. Sometimes I still feel that way, although I at least don't feel lost to myself.

Today I took a bike ride and didn't get lost. But I was taking a ride I've taken many times before, with someone who knew the way. To Point Lookout, which is near Jones Beach, and from there to Coney Island.

And now I'm back, and I'm not lost.