Babies have a better sense of direction than I do. They find their mom's nipples with acute accuracy. They smell milk boobs. I can't find North.
New Zealand's Air Force hosted an event called the Town Green at Auckland's AF Base. The Town Green supposedly had live music, cheap beer, and countless drunks. Boyfriend was in the Air Force and half an hour after I was supposed to meet him at Base, I was driving in varying circles in towns I never knew existed. When I called Boyfriend and read him street signs I was passing, he said I was twenty minutes away. It takes twenty minutes to drive from my house to the base. I had been driving for forty. I stopped at three gas stations, a produce cart, and a jewelry store to ask for directions.
After the jewelry store, I decided to call Boyfriend again with a status update. I couldn't find my phone. When I drive, I usually put it in between my legs. In my crotch. It wasn't there. I pulled over and ransacked the car, my purse, and my pockets. I plundered under the seats and raided the glove compartment. I came to the conclusion that I must have thrown my phone out the window while driving through a neighborhood trying to find the freeway.
I arrived at the base without a phone an hour and fifteen minutes after I had left.
When I walked up to the gate, I was greeted by nine officers, average age forty.
"Ticket please?" Steroids asked.
"Oh, I actually don't have a ticket. I mean, I have a ticket, but I don't have it. My boyfriend does," I replied.
"Is he here?"
"Yes, he's in the Air Force."
"Okay, you're going to have to call him so he can bring it out to you," Steroids continued.
"I actually somehow managed to lose my phone while driving here. I'm pretty sure it's on a street somewhere."
"Okay... what's his number? I'll call him and get him to come sign you in."
Boyfriend and I had been together for nine months. I didn't know his phone number.
"You don't know his phone number? We can't let you in the gate unless someone signs you in and takes responsibility for you." Steroids was now looking at me like I was injectable.
"Can't you look up his phone number in the system?" I asked.
All nine officers laughed at me. They asked what system I was talking about.
"I don't know, like something online that documents contact info for everyone in the Air Force," I said.
They laughed harder. I had temporarily forgotten that I was in New Zealand.
"Alright, where does he live?" Yoked Grandpa kindly asked.
"He used to live in a house a few minutes away, but he's lived back on Base for about a month now."
"Do you know what building he's in?"
I had visited Boyfriend a couple of times. I had no idea what building he lived in.
"Were you supposed to meet him somewhere?" Steroids asked.
"No, I was supposed to call him."
"So you don't have a phone, don't know your boyfriend's number, don't know what building he lives in, and don't know where he is," Steroids summed up my brain capacity and intellect.
Yoked Grandpa assured me we'd find him. I hopped in the white molester van and we drove around the barracks seeing if I recognized anything. I didn't. The road split, so I pointed left. We drove for four minutes before Yoked Grandpa conversationally asked me if I knew where my boyfriend's ancestors were from.
"He was born in Durban in South Africa, but beyond that, I just don't know."
"He's not Maori? He does not live over here then."
I had pointed us in the direction of the Maori barracks.
Ten minutes later, one of the seventeen identical buildings looked vaguely familiar to me. When we walked into the dorms, everything appeared recognizable. After wandering up and down the halls and asking if anyone had seen him, some chick pointed us to the next building over. After I harassed everyone I saw in that building asking if they knew Boyfriend, I found his room. I was elated when the door was unlocked. But Boyfriend wasn't there.
We got his phone number off a dude that was clearly trying not to slur his words in front of Yoked Grandpa.
After I got handed over to Boyfriend and the molester van drove away, Boyfriend exhaled his beer breath.
"How did you end up with The Man? What did you say to him? What did he say to you?" he asked. "Do you have any idea who that is?"
"Yoked Grandpa?" I asked.
"Kara, that's The Chief Warrant Officer. He's The Man here."
"Yoked Grandpa was nice," I said.