the end.

she couldn't breathe.

it was as though the city was crumbling in on her.

it was on the subway when she first noticed it: the slow, inching end of her love-affair with new york. she had ceased to find any charm in the thousand little eccentricities around her.

she could no longer bear the plaintive cries of taxi horns or the cloying sense of loneliness in crowded elevators.

so she began to pull out detailed maps of the continental US. she traced the orange interstate lines back and forth, up and down, planning her escape. her fingers running over the rocky mountains, the great lakes, along the continental divide divining for answers, groping for meaning. the questions always, where to go?

she dreamt of closing her eyes, moving her hand along the folded ridges until she felt the need to stop. and that stop would be the beginning. the next move. the migratory edict.

but she lacked the courage to close her eyes.

and without an answer she was forced to stay.