Refolding the Map

Written by Guy Biederman

Image: Saguaro by Igal Kogan

     Opening the glove box in her dad’s old sports car, Teresa sifts through the jumble inside: pocket knife, dead flashlight, map. Hairbrush. She grins, pondering puffs of dark hair between the tines. His marbled hands with their tattoo of veins, contour of broken knuckles, had once placed each item here. She opens the soft, worn map on the hood, warmed by the desert sun. A pink line runs up the coast to the woods, no doubt highlighted by some travel clerk. That trip, so far away, so long ago.

     Teresa refolds her dad’s map, following its deeply creviced lines. She’d once read how cartographers create fictional roads to protect against infringement, and now she wonders—if travelers were to happen upon such a fictional route, would they sojourn together in a shared sphere of imagination?

     Gazing across the desert, she smells salt air, sees her dad’s eyes in the color of distant sage, smiles at the hair of his highway youth. Teresa returns his map to the glove box and feels the door close with a gentle click.

This work was featured in issue #5

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