347. Two Word Map

There we were again, back at the box in the trunk. We’d long lost count, the number of times we’d done this – rifling through all of those maps. Lost count of how many times they’d led us to dead ends or dangerous, dark roads that were obviously far off the mark. Lost count of how many times we’d met and talked to people along the way.

Some of them would show us the map that they were using and tell us how it well it was working for them. So we’d try to find their map in our box. Sometimes they even helped us look and while they’d sometimes find us one that looked just like theirs, we’d follow it only to find ourselves astray again.

Once, we tried driving with no map at all and yeah, that worked for a while, but that proved just as pointless as the all the other maps. Maybe even more so since we had no one to blame but ourselves.

We were tiring of driving. Tired of fruitless turns. Tired of reorienting ourselves to new maps only to find ourselves lost yet again.

And always, in the back of our minds, the knowledge that this car won’t run forever.

But there we were, digging through the box of maps. A lot of them, we knew we could dismiss. Trial and error had taught us that, painfully. But there were so many of them – ones that we’d tried or ones that we knew were wrong, some that we couldn’t understand at all. It was such a big pile and we were tired of looking.

And yet we so longed for the way there.

And then we spotted it: a tiny piece of paper, the size of a small post-it note – easy to miss in the pile. It didn’t look like a map. Was it? There were no lines marking roads or boundaries. It wasn’t a list of turns or landmarks. It was just two words. It sounded dangerous but also deliciously fun. We looked at one another and grinned this wild, stupid grin of abandon.

We taped it to the windshield, mashed the accelerator pedal, and never looked back.

veer lightward


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