the sound of springs and the inner workings of the doorknob resounded in the fading hours of the night. the inability of the sky to decide whether it was late night or early morning mirrored her own indecision as she slowly crept upon the porch, seeking freedom from the oppressive stares which existed eternally within that oppressive structure she was leaving behind.

the mist rose carefully off the dirt path, the soil seeming to be slightly indignant to the fact that it had been recently been the recipient of a summer shower. it always smelt like burning pine out by the mailbox and she paused momentarily to regather her strength and reassess her motives. flashes of the past week exploded in her memory and the power that accompanied them reassured her of her determination. flashes seemed an apt analogy to their relationship; there seemed to be only alternating moments of stunning brilliance and equally strong moments of darkness which would gather all the earth's attention like some rare celestial occurrence--and there they would exist, imprinted upon the night sky, where every speck of light is amplified and the darkness is sometimes all you can see. she looked up towards the sky and held up her arm, measuring the distance between herself and the closest star then grasped her fingers tight around the brightest one and imagined the sky to miss its presence when she drew her arm back to her side, still keeping her fist closed tight.

stepping slightly into a jog, she drove forth on exhilleration and anticipation, the two factors which, at times, where the only things which held both her and him together. it always seemed doubtful that they would come together. she, holding on the to hope that, despite all inconclusive evidence, he loved her; he, wishing her to reciprocate in some way the feelings he could never express. but they did succeed in establishing a bond, however flimsy the threads where that held it and them together. they had fallen apart so many times, but hope always seems to be felt the most in cases of the severest improbability.

closer now to the lights, she gave in to her instincts and broke into a run. how many times he had given her the ability to express hidden inhibitions had been lost throughout time. they freed each other, and as she pumped her arms in an effort to fly there faster she felt truly free. finally.. embracing, together, with the most perfect night sky overhead, begging the two to collapse into constellations and become immortal. but gravity began to exert its evil force upon the earth-bound beings, and she felt him pull away, felt tears begin to spring up in her eyes for fear of some oncoming calamity.

leaving, he said, for good.

if the light and noise of the days serves to illuminate our activities, then the quiet and dark of the night works to emphasize the lack thereof; indeed, the silence and the numbness which enraptured her at that moment was as infinite as the sky overhead. and he left with a shrug of his shoulders, a mumbled apology, and her hopes of and other-wordly love.

she turned and started home, allowing the soft black of the sky to envelope her completely. her hand, cupped so delicately around a star she had imagined to be indestructible, was shaking and empty. home seemed to come quicker, too quick for her thoughts to catch up with the night's events. flashes, of stars exploding and universes colliding, greeted her on the porch.

lying back in bed, gazing towards her ceiling canopy, she realized her mistake and she vowed to never again place her faith in things as fickle as stars. even the brightest constellations mirror flawed humanity.

During a good part of autumn and winter, the sky over Milano has no stars.
It is a low ceiling of gray clouds, and it is lit by the orange light from the sodium lamps. All the streets in Milan are lit in orange, and the reflection is enough to turn the sky the color of rusted iron seen in a dim garage.

It is an entirely artificial sky, ready for the projection of ads.
It is a sky that can go on like that for weeks. Rain in the daytime, and in the night, either rain or a sky without stars.

When I went to call my then-girlfriend from the public phone close to the Lambrate train station, I would feel the weight of the sky over me. It was like being inside a metal bin. No surprise that we eventually split. The sky did it.

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