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Were all the maps in this world destroyed and vanished under the direction of some malevolent hand, each man would be blind again, each city be made a stranger to the next, each landmark become a meaningless signpost pointing to nothing.

-- Beryl Markham, West with the Night

I wanted her silken red lips to be the malevolent hand that destroyed all the maps. The curve of her upper lip was designed to move like a rusted animal as she was screaming obscenities at whatever tracks we had created toward each other. A guy never asks for directions, of course. She was sashaying her hips as she walked towards the box I planned to rest in. "I want you to eliminate this stupid fucking set of pretenses: honor and duty and this fucking messiah complex," I told her. "Stop me from thinking so much." You are a beautiful pink eraser designed to scrub the path we took to get here, away from whatever the hell I knew before. Get close enough to me and then grind my resistance away with your fingernail.

Cover my eyes and blind me with the topography of the rise of your breasts. Make me deaf by the coolness of your laugh. You should be the only map leading to me and leading away when you desert me in this desert, leaving me in some canyon wondering about the moonlit ladies, lose my way back to the past where I met you. You'll take my map with you: promise me you'll put it in a safe place.

"Beloved, beautiful machine. What am I going to do with you when I wreck you? Will I sell all your pieces to the hearts of my friends, to use in repairing the damage you caused them? You and your stupid maps. You thought you had it all planned out, how I was going to have my way with you, how I was going to heal you. I'm going to leave you here to die."

Then I told her, "Don't you remember? The most dangerous man is one who only has a box waiting for him."

She laughed. Then I undid her handcuffs and tucked her in.

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