55O words -- and my apologies for the profanity. "OFF THE RACK" "You alright, love?" The large security man held her arm lightly, convinced that she was going to collapse. But the concerned man's question almost did not penetrate Alex's consciousness as her eyes darted about feverishly. She knew what was happening. It begins again. She was in one of her panicky moods. Mind racing. Thoughts churning. World turning... too bloody fast. There were so many things that Alex wanted to do now -- shake, cry, shout, vomit, scream -- yet nothing she felt she could do. She was like stone. The only signs that she was alive at all were the slight shiver and the darting eyes. I want to die. I really fucking do. Will someone please just step up and blow my brains out just to end this torture of worry and fear and panic? I've lived on the rack for too sodding long. Eventually -- for Alex it might have been seconds, or hours -- her mind and brain and mouth re-formed their [at times] tenuous alliance. "I'm okay... I need... air." "Okay, love," the man gently replied. "You'll be alright on your own?" Alex figured that she must have replied in the affirmative, for he let go of her arm. She moved out of the foyer of the supermarket. To the sliding double doors. Then beyond the doors. A little freedom. A little fresh air. Fuck, yeah. Each unsteady step away from the building brought with it a slightly lighter feel, as if heading towards some imaginary source of calm that lay in the distance. Somewhere beyond those factories on the horizon... Somewhere over the rainbow... Somewhere only she knew... Somewhere that's green. She'd lived in the big, bad, sodding city for too bloody long. Alex knew she should listen to her body: they often spoke to one another as two people speaking different languages, trying to compensate for the communication gap by shouting in different languages. But now? She got what her body was saying. For the first time in a long, long while, her intuitive self and her conscious mind had reached a kind of simpatico. Hallelujah... as good old Lenny might've said. She'd had enough of anxiety... anxiety so bad that it had made her depressed. She'd had enough of grey and concrete and noise and smoke and stupid bastards saying "scuse me" in a brutally uncaring fashion before barging past you on the pavement because they'd got no manners, all from a lifetime of having no manners because "why the fuck should I? I've got a good job." She'd had enough of not living the sweet life that she wanted to live. Plain and simple. Sod the nice flat, even with its swanky split-level effect. Sod Simon, with his stupid loud laugh and his erroneous belief that a chiselled torso more than made up for his being a twat. Sod Simon's hooray-Henry pals... fops and snobs all. Sod her sub-editorial promotion-to-be. Sod more money. What good was money when you wished yourself dead? Her disabled friend Jude had been so kind to cut out all those articles about anxiety and the need to heal... why had Alex not properly paid attention? Well, she was paying attention now. Alex knew. She had been told. By herself. She needed to return to the countryside that was her true home.