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July 12, 2009

Personal Mapping

The thing about Leonardo is that he can't draw a map to save his life. So if he asks you, in that hopeful puppy dog way of his with the big eyes looking so cute (he really only looks cute the first couple times and then after that it gets annoying), "Should I draw you a map?" you should say, "No thanks, I got it."

He drew me a map once and all I was trying to do was get to his mother's house to pick up an armoire, but I ended up parking in a viewing pull-off on the edge of a cliff (it was very pretty, I'll give him that) and then walking through a forest and being accosted by large canines which I suspect weren't dogs (okay, there was only one, but it was pretty big), and then trying to find my way through one of those hedge labyrinths (even though the map said that I had to go through the labyrinth, but it was pretty clear when I got there that I could've just gone around it; it was only about fifty feet wide and seventy feet deep) and I got so lost in it that I spent the entire afternoon there and by the time I got out the other side I had to go back because I had run out of time (I went around it on the way back, by the way.) I never did find his mom's house and, even though I had paypalled the money over beforehand, never got the armoire. It wouldn't have done any good if I had anyway, since I wouldn't have been able to pull the car up to the house.

So after that I would have nothing to do with his maps and told him so and even then one day he tried to draw me a map of how to get from the café we were sitting in to the Scottish Rite Temple, which is easy, you just go to the lake and walk around the lake until you're there -- you can see it from almost anywhere on the lake. But he had to go messing with it. I walked away while he was drawing -- to make my point -- so he hurriedly finished and crumpled it up and threw the map after me.

I heard the wad of paper go "patsch" on the concrete behind me. Then, after a pause, I started to hear crackly scrabbling sounds that were so weird that I turned around and the stupid map had gotten up on its four corners and was scrabbling after me. It was creepy. So I just decided to ignore it and go on my way, but every time I made a turn that it didn't want me to make, it would start making this weird screechy sound and if I turned around it would be up on its hind-corners waving its front corners in the direction it wanted me to go and screeching. It was totally wrong, by the way. It was always pointing either directly away from the lake or perpendicular to the direction you needed to go to get to the lake. I never followed its directions but it kept following me and screeching anyway. It was embarrassing.

So finally, when we got to the lake, I turned to the map and patted my leg and it came running up. To tell you the truth, it was kind of cute, in a creepy, fuck-off-and-leave-me-alone kind of way. So when it got to me I hesitated, but only for a second, and then grabbed it and tore it into tiny pieces and fed it to the flock of Canada geese (with the one, big, grey domestic goose with the orange beak and claws) that suddenly materialized. The map didn't struggle or make a sound. The problem was that the geese were really aggressive and, the moment they saw that I was scattering map parts, they ignored the crumbs and came directly at me. So I flung the bits of the map into the air and ran for it.

And, of course, I ended up running away from the lake and it took forever for me to get to the Scottish Rite Temple since every path to the lake seemed to be manned by aggressively hungry geese. By the time I got there, the dance was over.

And those aren't the only things that have happened with me and Leonardo's maps. What I'm saying is, no matter what you have to do -- even if you have to threaten him with a knife or something -- don't let Leonardo draw you a map. Seriously. Art and orientation don't mix.


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