Atlanta: No Country for Old Claustrophobes


I’ve been mildly claustrophobic all my life, but it’s definitely getting worse with age. (What, you thought there was something that gets better with age? Yeah, right.) Yesterday, I was lost in downtown Atlanta for approximately an hour. I had forgotten my cell phone at home, and besides I had no one to call to help anyway. Whit doesn’t know the area any better than I do. The streets are very narrow, and with the buildings looming overhead, I had to use Lamaze techniques to head off a full-fledged panic attack. It’s almost a day later, and I’m still shaky and queasy. I feel like such a punk, but there’s not a whole helluva lot I can do about it. 

Fortunately Luke was in the car with me, or I probably would have simply pulled over and started screaming on the side of the road. I’ve lived in lots of places over the years, and Atlanta is hands-down the most difficult to navigate in. Everyone keeps telling me to get GPS. Two problems: I’m not exactly good with technology. And two, I don’t have the money to buy a gadget to help me get around this city. Here’s a rational thought: Why the hell can’t they simply put up street signs that are actually legible? Why can’t they do like many cities do and place street signs to indicate the next street before you get to it? If you’re going to have six lanes of traffic going in 5011 different directions you might want to put up signs in a large enough font to be legible. I’m still freaked out by what happened, and no, I won’t be venturing back downtown anytime soon.

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