I have a thing for maps and globes. Always have. I could sit for hours with my atlas marveling at the tables and charts along the margins, wondering how so many people could fit into such small places. I remember when I discovered that Spain was in Europe and not South America. I remember when the U.S.S.R. turned into Russia and its tiny, consonant-laden bits and pieces. I loved colouring maps, the best countries were mid-sized, pressing hard with my pencil crayons along their borders and shading lightly their fleshy centers. To this day I could spend days searching, but now with the added bonus of Google Maps and detailed satellite imaging.
I got a new globe yesterday, and I think I'm in love. It was $10 and is a strange size. Globes the size of volleyballs are fairly common, but this one is smaller, perhaps comparable to a cantaloupe or a child's skull. It's colours are rich and vintagey. The equator has been fastened down in a couple of places, the tape yellowing. These are the things that make me happy.