I’ve been involved with another woman. Her name is Samantha. She’s my GPS.

I hadn’t wanted to get involved. I much preferred to drive aimlessly down streets that I had never seen before saying, “I know where I am, I know where I am.”

I much preferred taking highway ramps leading to other highway ramps that led to one-way streets that led to roundabouts that led to my going back in the other direction and starting all over again.

I was in a complete state of denial, although I thought I was in Delaware, which has some of the same roads.

My wife had proposed counseling, suggesting I stop at a gas station and ask for help. I told her I didn’t have a problem, that she had the problem, that she was the one who couldn’t read maps and kept telling me that we needed  to take Exit 12 when I knew we just had to parallel park in front of the grocery store.

I didn’t want to reach out. After all, I’m a man, and we’re built with an internal GPS that allows us to get lost and still blame someone else for it.

But then Sam showed up.

In fact, it was my wife’s idea.

She thought I needed companionship, and wouldn’t get me a puppy.

From the beginning, there was a bond: I could talk to Sam about anything — ramps, turn lanes, bearing left, estimated time of arrival, even following the designated route. She understood.

She’s Australian, with a way of saying “recalculating” that makes you want to recalculate.

She knew all the fun places along the route, Chinese restaurants in Montclair, N.J., pizza places in Bethesda, Md., a gas station when the idiot light on the dashboard had turned on and she never called me an idiot even once about waiting so long before getting gas.  

Of course, there have been rough patches in the relationship, like the time when she said go east on Interstate 64 from Charlottesville to get to Waynesboro when I knew, I just knew, that you had to go west, mainly because the road sign said “West to Waynesboro.” We had to recalculate our relationship after that.

Then there was the time, up there in the Catskill Mountains of New York, desperately trying to find Linda and Elliott’s house before it got dark, where she just stopped talking, clammed right up. Claimed she had lost satellite reception. Sure. Women.

We’re back together again, though. Sometimes, we just go out for rides by ourselves, listening to the radio before turning, in point 2 miles, left onto Carver Street. I think my wife is starting to suspect something.

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