An amazing thing happened to me today. Someone asked me for directions (no, that’s not the amazing part).
And I was able to show them the way (that’s the amazing part).
You see, I suffer from Directional Dyslexia. Now this disorder may not be recognized by the Canadian Medical Association (or anyone else, for that matter), but let me tell you, it’s very real.
If I find myself in unfamiliar territory and have a strong inclination to turn left, my destination is invariably to the right. An impulse to go north? I should head south. You get the picture.
So this morning, on the St. George subway platform, when I caught the eye of a dark, petite woman and her friend, and recognized their “I’m so lost, please help me” look (the one I normally have myself), I felt a wave of panic.
But what kind of good-deed dudette would I be if I just walked on by. So I stopped and they told me they were trying to get to the Lawrence West station but weren’t sure which train to take. Phew, I thought, easy one. And I directed them to the northbound platform.
“But we took that train and it went west to Spadina,” she said with a hint of an accent. Her even shorter friend nodded in agreement.
“That’s okay,” I explained,” then it continues north to Lawrence.”
As I left them, however, a hobgoblin of doubt crept into my thoughts and I scanned the walls looking for a route map. [Mr. Mayor, if you’re reading this, the Toronto subway needs more route maps.]
It wasn’t until I’d boarded my southbound train that I was able to find a route map and confirm that I had indeed given them the right directions.
My sigh of relief could probably have been heard in the next car.
Maybe I should get myself a route map … or a compass ….
P.S. Here’s a classic scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Enjoy!