He grew up in the burbs and says that the only thing he doesn’t like about the city, is that you can’t see the stars. On the emerald plains where he was raised, he says at midnight you see galaxies. The air there smells like freshly cut grass year round. Plaid was not a fashion trend.

But my galaxies lately have been neon beer signs. My north star is atop the Handcock. In the thousand miles between where I grew up and where I live, there is no place I would miss if I never saw it again. I saw stars when I traveled those miles, but they were the stagnant kind you see on aging astrological maps and nothing close to aurora borealis. Those roads laid someone else’s prom king, and first kiss, but not mine.

Those country roads might feed your soul, but to me they’re rest stops on the highway.

My soul is satisfied by cities you call deserts. And I am well fed.

I grew up in a suburb of Boston, but I can still see the stars. I see them in the smudged black ink of the newspaper. I hear them in the crunch of gravel underneath bike tires.

I feel them in the laughter of new found friends that make the vast concrete landscape say, “Welcome home.”

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