I am leaving today. This is not the first time I have left home, not the first I've left it on my own, not the first I've been away, but it is the first I've not known I'm coming back. Today I leave, for good? For Good. Wicked, I saw that show on stage here. Here. Home. Home of the glittering lights and dirty streets, here with its old sky scrapers made of twisted metal and molten rock cooled and smoothed around plate glass. Home, street vendors and tourists, business men, our parents. Home.

Maybe it's most important to know the before prior to knowing the after. Perhaps you need to know what came first before the story begins. Before was Manhattan, New York City, as we knew it. We might have grown up anywhere, you and I, in Poughkeepsie or Nebraska, Canada, or Spain, or Columbus, but we grew up in Manhattan, maybe it doesn't make a difference, or maybe it makes all the difference. I never felt like other kids. Other kids. Our friends were the children we grew up with, kids who lived in our buildings or went to our preschools or were our parents friends children. All of the above.

Our parents were business men and housewives, socialites. My father owns a shipping company and your father works in PR, your father does my fathers PR. That's how we met.

Us. I've decided I do not want to talk about Us. I am not going to talk about Us. Even though all this is really about Us. Really about You. About Me. Going to see You. And You, going to see Me. You left Me, even though You didn't want to, and now we're going to make it better.

When You told Me, I thought I would burst, how could some building on the other side of the planet really possibly need You more than I did, more than the skyscrapers and the lights and the taxis and schools and the harbour and the sounds, the godawful sounds that keep You up all night? But it did. Evergreen. You showed it to me on a map. Olympia. Washington. Washington. 2940.80 miles. From my apartment to your dorm, it seemed like an eternity.

I don't want to talk about us. About when you left. About what it was like. So I'll fast forward to today. Today I am leaving. I have you directions in hand and my over stuffed Vera Bradley duffle on my shoulder. I take the train to Pittsburgh tonight. It was my idea to meet in the middle. You chose St. Louis, the gateway to the west, you told me. And it was your idea to find interesting ways to get there. I told you then that you ought to book my travel. So you wrote out directions for me and sealed them in separate envelopes. I open each one as I arrive at each new place. I don't know where I'm going next or how to get there. Tonight I'm going to Pittsburgh. This is frightening to me.