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On Stars

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I think about stars today. Did you know that there are no stars in the city? Instead the inhabitants choose to kid themselves with glitter and glitz. Neon signs and bright colors. Men on street corners with signs that read ‘Need money for drugs, hookers, and beer. But at least I’m not bulls***ting you’ and ‘Jesus loves you’. They circumvent the need to fill their lives with celestial guidance by staring at lightbulbs burned red with age and sin like smokers turning to gum to pretend that their mouth doesn’t water for the taste of nicotine.
There are moments when I wonder what would happen if someone pulled the plug and covered the city in a blanket of night. Would the women who walk the streets hiding their shame in gaudy make-up and fishnet stockings look up and remember their mothers? Would cold and hungry children find an instant of peace within themselves as they felt the world turn under their stained fingertips? Would businessmen pause and look up from their PDAs to see a moment of true beauty as opposed to the synthetic bliss they have been experiencing for the past millennium? What are we when we settle for Broadway over bare mountaintops? When vodka is a preferred comfort over an embrace and a smile? That we lose ourselves in neon balls of gas and never look to see the stars?
I think about stars today. I climb up onto my rooftop and look at them. I remember thinking bitterly about how they’re brighter in Vermont than they are here. And then I frown because I realize that, for all my rantings and ravings, I am no better than those I choose to criticize. In some ways the young girls who sell their bodies and the men who beg for spare change just to ride through that next high are more honest than I. So I watch the stars and remember a night where meteors burned across the sky and I fell in love with falling in love. I tell myself that I believe in the existence of the human heart and that I care for every set of eyes that dares to dance among the dynasties carved from constellations and drawn from correlations between yesterday and tomorrow and a hundred miles away. I realize I care for all of them in the part of my heart that has not yet grown cynical and cold. And, most importantly, I realize that I am at peace.





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