I'm home and tired but I must tell you about a belief I reinforced and reconfirmed yesterday. My table read went well. The most difficult part of the day was getting there and back. As some of you know, I am navigationally challenged, so getting lost in Penn Station is a given. But even before I got there i had to rely on the kindness of strangers. I took Porter Airline to Newark and I had to find my way to New York from there. I've done it before, once, I think, but that's no guarantee I know what to do. Fortunately, I read and speak English so I can follow signs and ask people for help. Signs are not as explicit as I would like them to be. (The ideal sign would read: "Bettyjane, you are on the right track, keep going.") Some arrows seem to point straight up or in a skewed direction. Some guides assume more knowledge on my part than I have, but that's okay. If I go the wrong direction I can turn back - especially in Penn Station as it turned out. I had to get there first.
So I found the AirTrain ticket entrance, with ATMs to take my cash or credit card and issue a ticket. I have one U.S. dollar credit card but I saw a woman ahead of me pushing in card after card after card and I saw the sign saying NO CREDIT CARDS, so I figured cash. I had crisp new twenty dollar U.S. bills. I saw a staff person who was busy telling travellers no credit cards and exact change. I asked him where I could get a twenty changed. He pointed out a tiny convenience store and suggested I buy some gum. So I went and bought a purse-pack Kleenex and came back and pushed some buttons and ordered a return Senior ticket to New York for a discount: eighteen dollars. I started pushing in money and came up a dollar short. And that nice man GAVE ME A DOLLAR!!! I hesitate to mention that he was black because I don't want any suggestion of reverse racism here. He was a good Samaritan. I thanked him and he waved me on.
So: AirTrain to a stop in Newark, transfer to a New Jersey train into Penn Station and then I wandered around trying to find 1) a pay phone (no cell phone) and 2) the 34th Street Exit. I did talk to my director. (I won't go into the phone details, just to say it's amazing how calm I am in the face of setbacks.) I found the exit eventually but no director. But I had walked a lot and taken too much time so I decided I would walk to the building where the meeting was to take place only a block and a half away, my director had assured me previously by email, with the address of the building. So I walked. And walked. And walked. When I reached 650 Eighth Avenue I stopped in some doubt and went into the New York Times Building. The nice man at the information desk informed me that there were no art studios in the building. I showed him my letter and gave him my director's phone number (he has a cell phone) and he phoned and talked to my director and got the right address: 550 Eighth Avenue. Now that was not my error; it was in my print-out of the letter. The computer did that. The nice man wrote down the correct address on the print-out, along with the floor and the Studio to look for and I thanked him and asked his name.
"Luke," I said, "you are going to be in my blog."