There’s a man in my GPS. Used to be a snarky woman, much like me, a real scold who berated when I didn’t do what she said. Which was often. Her voice had a sharp edge, with a British accent. She made recalculating sound like a swear word. I’d drive in circles just to irritate her, which greatly extended my short excursions, like, just to the drugstore. She snickered with condescension. It’s true. I heard her often. Snickering. I realized I was saying “Shut up shut up” way too often as I drove, indicating my blood pressure was a tad up. That bitch in the box. Something needed to change. No, reader. Capitulation is not in my repertoire.
I messed with the instrument and reprogrammed the voice. Now it’s a guy, another Brit. Hmmm. Is the Brit thing the irritation? Would I be more amenable to his prompts? My husband nearly got a hernia thinking about that impossibility. “What’s so funny, honey?” He snorted to control himself and simply turned his head.
Britman calls Medina Medeeena. Note: He’s British. My protest won’t change him. it’s going to be his way….with deep sighs…or no way. I can feel him thinking. Telling himself I’m an unreasonable, noncompliant American woman with a mind of her own and why have I plugged him in to begin with. He prejudges, thinking I won’t ever do anything he says anyway, so why bother? Unlike snarky woman, this man stifles his attitude, thinking I’ll forget myself and succumb to his will. Well as I said. He’s Brit. And a man.
I can sense his recalculating long before it happens. He knows I have a mind of my own. He knows we’ll get lost together with all the roadwork going on every damn where because I never update his maps. I really must learn to do that. He knows my attention span is short. Too often I tune him out before he’s finished instructing me. Sometimes I route myself to roundabouts that exist here, just to make him happy. Britain is wall to wall roundabouts, so the man in the box feels less homesick. I can hear jubilation in his voice. I swear.
Because I’m naturally disobedient, especially to a disembodied voice, I nearly had to relocate to Chicago because, in the simple drive-through I couldn’t seem to get out of there. So much for not following a man, even if he’s just in a box. It took many wrong turns to get back home. I’m not going there ever again. My buddy seems to understand I spend lots of energy resisting control. His patience is endless, even if exasperated. All in all, he’s quite the cut above his predecessor.
I wonder what he looks like. I see him as tall, with a pipe, debonair, but scholarly, with the patience of Job. Mostly. Tweeds, and a clean part in his abundant hair. Tortoise-framed glasses. On a good day he’s mildly amused, knowing we’ll likely have an adventure. He loves a challenge. I might be the only person who gets lost specifically because I use a GPS. He consults someone, I just know he must. Eventually he gets me to my destination, as I cruise right on into my own garage like I don’t know the way. Even if he says “take the slip road”. “Take the slip road!”
I suppose I’m addicted to him. At least he talks to me.