On being ... lost?

By Ingrid Sapona

OnStar operator?

I think I’m lost.

Yes, the GPS seems to be working.

Blond. What difference does that make?

What was that?

What am I looking for?

Oh, I’m looking for The Point of No Return. You see, I thought I’d see it.

Yes -- I thought there’d be a sign or something, but I keep missing it…

Well, you see, I hurt my leg the other day.

No, not in the car. I was running late and a streetcar was coming so I decided to make a dash for it.

I know, I should have given myself more time...

No, I didn’t fall or twist my ankle … but I did think I tore something …

Luckily, the streetcar operator waited for me as I hobbled on.

Yes, it is unusual. Anyway, when my stop came, I very slowly got off but it hurt to put weight on it.

Well, I had no choice -- I had to get off. So then I slowly hobbled into the theatre, which was where I was going. As soon as I got in I asked the usher if he could get me an ice pack. He said he would, but just before the curtain went up he came back to me and said I’d have to wait till intermission and fill out an incident report.

What could I do? I sat through the first act thinking about what to do and whether it was bad enough to go to the hospital.

No, I’m not looking for a hospital now -- I went that night.

I left during intermission.

What difference does it make? I took a cab.

Anyway. I know you always have to wait at emerg.

Emerg? That’s how we refer to the Emergency Room up here. So anyway, I was prepared for a wait. And I know I wasn’t exactly an emergency, emergency but I did want to make sure nothing was torn.

I got there at about 9:45 p.m. and the place was practically empty. I thought that was a pretty good sign and I ended up seeing the triage nurse within about 15 minutes.

After I told her what I’d done she told me to go back out and wait till someone called me. Then, about 15 minutes later someone directed me to another room. The sign on that door said “Emergency Streamline” or something, which I thought was another good sign. There were three other people in there so I took a seat and waited. Slowly but surely, the others were taken. The last guy before me was called around 12:15 a.m., so I figured they’d call me soon after that.

No, I hadn’t brought a book -- I wasn’t expecting to go to Emerg when I left the house that night -- I was going to the theatre, remember?

Six hours! That’s the point…

No. If I’d known I wouldn’t get home till after 4 a.m. I probably just would have waited to call my doctor in the morning.

I agree, in retrospect it probably was a bad decision. So that’s why I need to know: how do you know if you’re at The Point of No Return? That night I thought The Point of No Return was probably about midnight -- but it turns out midnight wasn’t even the halfway point!
What’s that? You can’t tell me where The Point of No Return is?

That’s it. You’re sorry? Isn’t there someone else there who you could ask? Or can’t you look it up in some reference guide you must have?

Sure, I’ll wait -- yeah, you can put me on hold.

Yes, I’m still here operator.

What’s that? The Point of No Return is right after Throwing Good Money After Bad? That’s no help! I don’t know where that is either… Why just the other day I saw a picture in a cookbook for this Italian breakfast bread with pine nuts and grapes that looked so good, I just had to make it.

Yes, pine nuts are darned expensive, but it sounded really good. So I splurged. Actually, the pine nuts were one thing -- it also called for this special sugar that I had to go to a natural food store to find. The sugar alone set me back almost five bucks. Then there were the grapes… Oh, and I forgot the yeast.

No, yeast’s not that expensive, but I forgot to get it so I ended up buying it at a nearby gourmet store and I paid an arm and a leg for it. Then I ended up throwing out the first batch of dough anyway.

Well, I followed the directions but half the yeast/water mixture ended up on the counter. I tried to scrape it up, but it was futile. So I ended up starting over. After all, the dough was only flour, yeast and an egg. But then I realized I had used two of the three packets of yeasts, so I had to go get more! Anyway, I started again. But the second dough didn’t rise.

What could I do?

Yes, I started again.

No, I didn’t think “the third time’s the charm” or something…

Of course it occurred to me maybe I was Throwing Good Money After Bad. But how do you know? That’s what I’m asking…

The problem with The Point of No Return and Throwing Good Money After Bad is you only ever know you’ve gone beyond them after the fact …

I understand, operator.

Thank you for your help. But would you do me a favour?

If you ever figure out how to spot The Point of No Return -- you know, if you find a sign I should be watching for -- would you let me know?

© 2006 Ingrid Sapona


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