The Journey

Know Me

Part One

She came to him that night, with all her torn and ragged maps, clutched to her chest.  She cautiously placed the worn mess of old paper on the table between them. “What?” he said, not looking up. Her hands reached out and rolled open the first map, spreading it flat, trying to show him her first landscape. If he had looked closely, he might have recognized the patterns, and the lines; they matched the color, the shape of her eyes. That one, torn in half, might have led him along the secret path around her mouth. The next one, stained, might have led him through the forest of her past. The final one, almost new, might have shown him uncharted beauty in wilderness.

He took one glance, and looked away.

Part Two

She came to him that night, with all her torn and ragged maps, clutched to her chest. She was trying to figure out how to make him look, how to make him interested. She opened a different one and carefully spread it out, wondering what might catch his eye. This time he didn’t even glance. Her gaze caught the color of the paper, the same as her skin. She had to try; she was so tired of carrying all these maps of herself alone. So she took off her clothes, in the hopes that the terrain of her skin might interest him, in the hopes that if he began his travels with the most basic map, he would want to study the intricate ones. She needed him to tell her they were sacred artifacts.

Finally he looked up; he looked at her. But he just swept all of her maps roughly to the floor and grabbed her, picking her up to take her on the table. She scrambled away, naked, on her hands and knees, trying to gather them all back up. “No look! Look! Please!” She held the mess up to him, “Please…” He walked away, leaving her alone with all her unread, untouched maps. She rolled them back up, one at a time, put them all together. The last one caught and ripped, a jagged tear down the edge. But she was too tired to tape it back together.

Part Three

She came to him that night, with all her torn and ragged maps, clutched to her chest. She set them carefully on the floor, out of the way, saving them for later. Then she took a deep breath, and took off her clothes, so he would pick her up again, so his hands would travel the one landscape that seemed to interest him. She touched him back, hoping that if she traveled him too, she might understand him more, understand how to make him want to travel her. She kissed him back, trying to tell him things, trying to ask him to pay attention, to understand, to know.

But she forgot that his blind trampling, his careless and hurried trek, only eroded her landscape more. She forgot that his ignorance of her trails and the places they were overgrown or falling apart meant he would push his way through. She forgot his rampant journey would only leave her to etch new maps of the broken canyons that would bear traces of his name.

Part Four

She came to him that night, with all her torn and ragged maps, clutched to her chest. She dropped the tattered maps on the floor and walked over them, ignoring the way they scattered and rolled. She took off her clothes and ignored the worn state of her skin, the footprints and the scars. In her mind the image of her as frayed from loving use wavered.

He stood up and she awaited his familiar hands, placed into the contours, the impressions he’d cut into her landscape. She wanted him to erode more. She knew he would help her erase the tracks and trails she didn’t want to travel anymore, erase the lines she didn’t want to read anymore. She wanted his map of her. It wasn’t as destroyed.

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