Traveling While Disabled: Part VIII, Lost
This is the eighth installment of the surprisingly rollicking adventures of a courageous disabled traveler going it alone. Here are links to the first seven installments in case you missed them:
How very odd. I woke up with nightmares. Of course right before bedtime I read the Sherlock Holmes' story about the serial killer taxi cab driver. Still, I was feeling bummed-out. I opened my curtains and there to my delight for the first time since I had arrived was actual full sun and blue sky. Bye-bye sad-bad feelings. Hello great day. I briefly considered only eating berries and granola, but hey, when someone else is cooking a real Irish breakfast, no brainer, right?
Afterwards I headed out to Dooks beach where I had been the day before. Maybe I would even run into that nice man with the horses. I had a new map that showed a great way to get there using back roads. It even looked like a shortcut from the way I had gone before. That should have been my first clue.
I easily found the one-lane road with small flowers growing up the middle of the tire tracks. I passed by meadows and small farmhouses with laundry hung out to dry. Both sides of the road were lined with old stone walls. The stones were covered with wild fuchsia, foxglove, roses, heather, and honeysuckle. It looked like someone had unrolled spools of ribbons for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see. Yeah, that should have been clue number two.
An hour later I was up on a bluff looking down onto farms when I heard a faint sound. I walked further. I was hearing traffic, tour buses to be exact. What the what? There are no tour buses at the beach. I had just walked in a circle. I got out the map and did not have a clue as to where I was in relationship to the piece of paper in my hand. RATS! Apparently nothing is ever to scale on a tourist map.
They shouldn’t even be allowed to call them maps. Maybe just “artist’s rendering” or “pretty backgrounds with icons and logos that don’t mean diddly-squat”. An hour later, hobbling with cane because of my disability, I made it to a bridge on the main road. I was nowhere I wanted to be.
Standing near the bridge was a man I had seen the day before. His face was badly distorted. Either a tumor, or possibly a stroke had left him with such a drooping face you could see the red blood vessels of his lower eyelid. We struck up a conversation, the weather, the tides...directions.
A car slowed down and the driver called out, "Good morning to ya, Bobby, how's it going then?" Bobby shouted back that all was well. I was struck by two things. First off, the kindness of the driver. Then secondly was Bobby’s response that all was well. How very hard a burden it must be having facial distortion. The stares alone would break your heart. I’d be screaming, "I am still me under here!"
So there we stood in the sun, two strangers enjoying a chat. I may have been lost, but I think I ended up in the right place after all.
To be continued . . .
Sally Franz is a former stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, and radio host. She is a twice-divorced mother of two and a grandmother of three. Sally has a degree in gerontology and several awards for humor writing. She is the author of "Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey," and "The Baby Boomers Guide to Menopause."