Midnight, Addison Texas. The low haze that swept in after sunset is all alight now, bouncing back the city like the sky is enclosed in a single mercury bulb. The lights of the bank offices and insurance companies north of the belt line float in it, outlines of their buildings obscured by bright haze.
This has been my quotidian, my every day, for two years now. This little two meter square balcony. The skyview that has been my most constant companion. I am grateful for it, I would have lost my mind down here without it.
I never wanted to come South. Spent my 20s proudly remaining above the Mason-Dixon even as everyone else my age seemed to migrate to the sunbelt for work. Eventually, the migration caught up with me, and brought me first to Atlanta, and then here to Dallas. They became my quotidian. Okra in the supermarket. Sweet tea everywhere. Sky glow. In Atlanta I could only glimpse it through the canopy but here...
I am looking out at Addison, right now, and the sky is all alight, brighter than any star, horizon to horizon. The only lights you can see are planes, sometimes 5 or 6 at once when traffic is stacked up over DFW. Down here, in the urban south, there is a starless quotidian.
Which I hated, for a long time. But it came to me to seem vibrant, alive. The glow of a place filled with furious human activity. Of a place people wanted to be.
And now that I'm going back North, to a sleepy Pennsylvania college town where the nearest city's population peaked in 1940 and is now half its former size, I think I'll miss that. The youth. The glow.
Still. I'll have the stars again, at least.