I left at exactly 9:16, March 27th, 2007.

I told no-one. No friends. No colleagues. No family members.

No employers.

I prepared everything in advance:

-One duffle bag, carefully arranged to fit as many clothes as possible. I wrapped my shoes in plastic bags to keep everything nice and clean and tidy and organized.

-My computer. I will probably not be able to use it, but I can at least keep the hard drives. Not that it's hard to get them out; it hasn't had the sides to its case in quite some time. Dad took care of that I see you didn't clean your room wanna guess what it looks like now

-My phone. I considered leaving it. But I may need to make a phone call. Or I can just sell it for a bit of money in a pinch. I thought about the possibility of being tracked via GPS but I doubt anyone would have the presence of mind to do that.

-My tools. A small set of basic items: screwdrivers of various sizes, wrenches, pliers. Lockpicks. Paracord. A small, full-tang knife in the event I am forced to camp. Flint for a fire.

-Food for two weeks. Carefully rationed. Bare nutrients only. I am shedding everything.

I travel light, always. I am able to pick up at a moment's notice.

I am fit. Lean. Flexible. I am adaptable, resourceful.

I went to work that morning and clocked in at 7:49. I did my rounds, picking up errant items and placing them back where they belonged. I made idle chatter with my co-workers. I spoke with my boss about taking a day off for a concert next week.

At 9:09 I clocked out and walked out the door.

At 9:16 I was on the road.

I have traveled for some time, west. No destination, just a direction. I have $713.67 and 5/7 tank of gas. I am in Georgia, a man tells me. In 4 more hours I will be Alabama, he says.

I saw a man standing on the side of the road, bag in hand, thumb out. I invited him in. We drove for hours, making small talk. I did not ask for his name.

I dropped him off and handed him $50 and a few cans of beans.

I will never travel east again. I have left this place behind. I have prepared and prepared and prepared and now I am ready, worthy to venture out. I am my own hand out.

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