Prelude/Interlude/Postlude: Lost Mapmaker

I’m drawing maps to master the art of losing myself.

I’m drawing maps of subways, so I can follow the movements of the underground people, my fellow subterraneans.

I’m drawing maps, cutting them up, and piecing together a world I want to live in.

I’m drawing maps of landscapes I’ve visited in dreams – cities with shifting streets and forests with wandering hills, dreamscapes where the earth is as fluid as the sea, where one has to navigate as circumspectly as on uncharted waters.

I’m drawing maps to commemorate my fugitive loves: This is where I first saw him . . . This is where I fell . . . This is where we walked, this is where we flew . . . This is where I died, again and again . . . This is where . . .

I’m searching for a map of the gaping chasm between lovers, an echoing abyss that only gets vaster as their bodies draw closer–when their skins touch, they’re sucked into an insatiable hole.

I’m searching for a map of the strata of grief underlying all my loves: the progression of love is a regression of griefs – the greater the love, the deeper the grief.

I’m searching for a map of life’s passing, enfolding everything I’ve lost to time – elusive fragments of my irretrievable autobiography, dismembered memoir of the countless lives I’ve lived and haven’t lived.

I’m searching for a map of the shadow world where the darknesses within communicate with the darknesses without in an obscure language. I’m trying to learn its black vocabulary, so I can move more sleekly in the gloom.

I’m searching for a map of the secret passages connecting my separate labyrinths, my crazy mazy selves.

I’m searching for a map of what comes and goes without a trace – elusive vectors too fast or too slow for the unvigilant eye.

I’m searching for a map of a moveable country, a portable roaming I can call home.

I lost my maps. I’m running away as fast as I can before they find me and give me new ones.

I lost my maps. I’m going to throw my watch in the river.

I lost my maps. I’ll hide behind this tree till another traveler comes along, then I’ll steal his maps, his name, his face. Every time I want a new life, I just lose my maps.

I lost my maps. All my life, I’ve been struggling to find my way back to you. Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed by other possibilities.

Since I lost my maps, instead of skimming the surface, I’ve been digging underground. Some people think I’m trying to get to China, but I’m not – I’m just digging.

I thought I was trapped in a labyrinth, but when I lost my maps, I realized I am the labyrinth.

I lost their maps. Now I’m drawing my own maps with my feet.

I lost my maps. I’ve forgotten the names of my mother and father.

Since I lost my maps, I’ve taken to traveling slowly enough to learn the names of flowers and trees – every flower, every tree. When I meet a cluster of daisies, it’s not unusual for us to spend the greater part of the day making introductions.

I lost my maps, so I ask everybody I run into questions. I’m not trying to find my way – I just like asking questions.

I lost my maps. I’m scarcely making any progress toward my almost-forgotten destination. On most days, I don’t even cover any ground – lying on the grass or on a big flat rock warmed by the sun, I just watch the clouds drift through the sky’s unmappable blue.

After I lost my maps, I followed the river to the sea, where I watched the seekers come and go.

Since I lost my maps, things have been changing places whenever I’m not looking. When I go to sleep at night, I know I won’t recognize where – or who – I am in the morning. These involuntary displacements used to vex me, but now I look forward to seeing where I’ll be transported. Lately, I’ve even been learning how to change places with my eyes open.

I lost my maps. Maybe I’ll finally stop going around in circles.

When I realized that the shortest path between two points is never a straight line, I lost my maps.

I lost my maps. Now I travel like a gambler, following the dice I throw before me.

>> Turn 1: In Search of

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