(Female, 40’s) I had spent the weekend with my good friend in the Big City, and now it was time to go home. I had to catch a train in 2 hours and she was leaving on a plane in 3. I guess I went to check out of the hotel. I rode down in the elevator to the lobby, which also connected to a large shopping mall. The lobby and mall were really crowded with shoppers and I had to dodge my way across the concourse. When I turned about to head back up to our room, I had no idea which way to go. All the possible paths looked the same, with shiny walkways and store windows and doorways.
“… I kept walking around, conscious of the passing time and no closer to finding my way…”
I started to wander, but I was lost. I didn’t know which way to go. I kept walking around, conscious of the passing time and no closer to finding my way. I was feeling more worried and panicky all the time. Then I found myself at an exit, and I decided I should go outside, because I’d be able to look at the building and see where the hotel tower (it was very tall– we were staying on the 18th floor) was in relation to where I was.
Outside was even more disorienting. The facade of the mall was so tall that I couldn’t see any other buildings behind it. I was surrounded by tall skyscrapers; I was standing in their shadows and I felt cold. I decided to cross the street so I could see better. I turned about to see that there were 8 lanes of traffic on the street. The corners were far away, so I just started running across, dodging traffic as I went. I still couldn’t locate the hotel. I asked someone walking by where the hotel was, and he asked which hotel. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of our hotel. I said, “I think it’s the Constitution.” “There’s no hotel named that.”
Then I got a text message from my friend: “Where are you?” and I wrote back, “I am lost.” She texted me again and said to come back inside. I went into a subway station and she was sitting on a bench waiting for me. She had my suitcase with her. She had packed it up for me. I sat down to double-check that all my stuff was there, but when I opened the suitcase, nothing inside looked familiar.