Issue 140, Fall 1996
When I discovered my first maze among the pages of a coloring book, I dutifully guided the mouse in the margins toward his wedge of cheese at the center. I dragged my crayon through narrow alleys and around comers, backing out of dead ends, trying this direction instead of that. Often I had to stop and rethink my strategy, squinting until some unobstructed path became clear and I could start to move the crayon again.
I kept my sights on the small chamber in the middle of the page and knew that being lost would not be in vain; wrong turns only improved my chances, showed me that one true path toward my reward. Even when trapped in the hallways of the maze, I felt an embracing safety, as if I’d been zipped in a sleeping bag.
Reaching the cheese had about it a triumph and finality I’d never experienced after coloring a picture or connecting the dots. If only I’d known a word like inevitable, since that’s how it felt to finally slip into the innermost room. I gripped the crayon, savored …