A/N: Lovely readers! I was recently featured in an online literary magazine, Dead Beats. The short story they published is called “The Mapped and the Spoken”. Please feel free to check out this link for the full story.
The Mapped and the Spoken
by: Ellise Ramos
The first warning you always gave me, before launching into your secrets was: “I need to know you’re not going to write about this, or fictionalize it in any form.”
You would stop then, as doubt took over. You would turn to me and try to size me, as if you were weighing the advantages versus the danger and consequence that came with telling of your story.
And then you would wait a full two minutes: a long, conscious soundlessness where the language I hear is the one spoken to me by your body—a vocabulary of gestures, a novel of wordlessness.
This is your story too, and forgive me for lending it my voice; I know how much you hate to be misinterpreted. But words are all we have, my darling, despite how limiting—it is all we have to translate and to let others know.
And because there is no other way for a revelation, let me cheat our memories by recounting it. Let me draw a clear demarcation in our lives, so that we can create a beginning and a possible end, and tell me how you like it.
And tell me you remember what we once said, what we once meant.
Remember how we painted the walls yellow while The Pixies blared from our stereo? When the landlord first showed us the apartment I tried to telepathically communicate to you: don’t look too eager, pretend we don’t want it. But your smile was wide and your eyes were bright with opportunity: we couldn’t haggle the rent lower, not with that so visibly naked grin. Back then you could accept, without hesitation, that things couldn’t belong to you, that the best we could do was to content ourselves with what we were given. We knew that owning things meant eventually becoming owned, and that was a concept we couldn’t let happen — not to us, not to our freedom.