Maria realized the more time passed the more one was alone, adrift, assailed. The only point was there was no point. Survive one more day, one more hour.
There was nothing left for Maria to do but go back home, back north. Everyone she cared about were in their own hermetic pods, quarantining, staying as safe as they could. This wasn’t a time to be gallivanting around the country, in the face of a noisome bug. This was not a time to be in her old home town.
She plotted and mapped, and set a course wide of the marauding bug, but soon she realized the bug was everywhere, so she drew drunken contour lines all over her map—filling the paper with lines that obliterated the underlying image of the country.
She spray painted the wall of her childhood bedroom—a room that now proved suffocating and claustrophobically small—some words she paraphrased from something she once read:
“Mr. Universe, I exist.”
And off she went.
“A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
—Stephen Crane / “A Man Said to the Universe”