stuff that makes me feel seen lol
The Bedouin were keeping me alive for a reason. I was useful, you see. Someone there had assumed I had a skill when my plane crashed in the desert. I am a man who can recognize an unnamed town by its skeletal shape on a map. I have always had information like a sea in me. I am a person who if left alone in someone’s home walks to the bookcase, pulls down a volume and inhales it. So history enters us. I knew maps of the sea floor, maps that depict weaknesses in the shield of the earth, charts painted on skin that contain the various routes of the Crusades.
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After that month in Cairo she was muted, read constantly, kept more to herself, as if something had occurred or she realized suddenly that wondrous thing about the human being, it can change. She did not have to remain a socialite who had married an adventurer. She was discovering herself. It was painful to watch, because Clifton could not see it, her self-education. She read everything about the desert. She could talk about Uweinat and the lost oasis, had even hunted down marginal articles.
I was a man fifteen years older than she, you understand. I had reached that stage in life where I identified with cynical villains in a book. I don’t believe in permanence, in relationships that span ages. I was fifteen years older. But she was smarter. She was hungrier to change than I expected.