hobart logo

February 7, 2018 | Fiction

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Asked Me for Directions

Stephanie Grossman

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Asked Me for Directions photo

Dear Guy Who Asked Me For Directions,

You don't know it yet, but I gave you bad directions, and now I can't find you. For this, I am truly, truly sorry.

You stopped me on the street and asked me how to get to 30th Road. You were in a rush, so I quickly sent you back the way you came, saying that 30th Road was five blocks past the subway.

"Just keep going until you see it," I said. "It's a trek."

"Thanks," you said, relief washing over you like sunlight.

Then we both went our separate ways.

It probably didn’t help that I spoke with a lot of confidence. At my annual review this year, my boss told me I need to speak with more authority. I've been practicing all month.

Were you going to a job interview? A first date? Oh god, I hope it wasn’t a date. Being late gives such a bad impression. This could have been your soul mate, and now I’ve robbed you of a happy marriage, three children, and a cat that would have gotten famous on Youtube for getting its head stuck in a mitten.

How can I make it up to you?

By now you must have figured out that you're nowhere near 30th Road. You're probably starting to panic, swearing at me under your breath. "What a dumbass" you're probably thinking.

I'll have you know that I really don’t deserve that sort of treatment. It’s not my fault. My geography teacher was really bad. We wasted so much time learning things like the capital of Utah (it’s Salt Lake City, I think), but we never learned the important things like how to get to 30th Road. Plus I only moved here two years ago. I mean, you’ve probably lived here longer than me. If anyone here ought to know where 30th Road is, it’s you.

Also, maybe you shouldn’t have asked someone wearing headphones. I mean, I was clearly listening to something important—my boyfriend's podcast, if you must know. I may have disoriented you, but you disoriented me just as much.

How did you get into this mess anyway? Did you even charge your phone? Did you leave yourself an extra twenty minutes in case something like this happened? Don’t you think it’s time to start taking a little responsibility for yourself?

Honestly, I’m not sure why you’re so mad. I made a mistake. I apologized. Why are you still going on about this? You could have it way worse. My friend once sent some Germans to La Guardia when they asked for directions to JFK.

But sure, go ahead and blame me when you meet up with your date twenty minutes late on a street full of greasy spoons and laundromats (I looked it up. You'd really take someone to a place like 30th Road on a first date?). I’m sure you’ll be ranting to your family at Thanksgiving about how some hipster chick sent you ten blocks in the wrong direction.

Let me remind you, though, that you could have asked anyone else around—a police officer, a delivery guy, an old lady who’s probably lived in this neighborhood since the ‘30s. But no. You picked me. So really, it's your own damn fault that you've ended up where you are.

Screw you. Get lost.

—Stephanie

image: Ben Hall


SHARE