IN THE END she didn’t leave the city. She took a job as a ■■■■■■■■■■ because it was the only thing she knew how to do. She made many things that were functional but unbeautiful. She wondered if she would ever make something of her own, something to communicate.
Everyone she met was lonely. At work they came in at odd hours and left secret notes around, hoping someone would see. She put the notes back exactly where she found them.
In the evenings she walked for hours. Once she walked far past the end of the lake, along the canal that connected it to the ocean. She saw the double grilles that kept everything but the water from floating past the freeway. She turned away from the canal and started back towards downtown. The sun was about to set, and across the freeway she saw it gleaming on the tall buildings.
She saw a cat escape from the pet hotel. She saw a woman waiting in her car by the dojo. She saw a bunch of boys playing basketball inside. The sun had just set, but downtown it had been dark for longer. There were no stars. She stopped at a cafe and had some water. Then she went home to people.