You can see them so clearly when it's cold outside, they're like tiny diamonds in navy blue velvet. I wonder if many people see them like this, as things that are infinitely beautiful, or if they just wander underneath them, going through the motions of life without stopping to look and see the beauty around them. It comforts me when I think that almost everyone, no matter how jaded, has noticed and been stunned by the beauty of the stars once in a while, whether walking alone or in the arms of another.

My friend brings out three lit sticks of incense and I lay down on the icy concrete in only my pajamas and socks. It's January and about three in the morning in a deserted suburban neighborhood. She's been smoking a cigarette and wants me to see how the smoke looks against the stars, but I don't smoke. The smoke from the incense and my icy breath in the air create a perfect transient veil for the stars. The cold ice against my back and the smell of incense and cigarette smoke enveloped me and...I didn't think that there could exist anything more perfect than this moment. Until the danger of frostbite became a real possibility, we stayed out there, staring at the ten thousand frozen, burning stars.