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“The first time I saw the Milky Way I was on a blanket in the bed of a beat up pickup. We were parked in a clearing, off the main road and even further off an old snowmobile trail. I was with a boy I didn’t love and who didn’t love me, but we picked each other that summer as the objects of our affection. We would be bored together. We would drink and make out and give each other orgasms to pass the time. We would lay in the back of his pickup truck wrapped up in sleeping bags, sharing a bottle of Alberta Premium rye and staring at the night sky until the mosquitoes threatened to eat us alive.

I remember none of our conversations. I am unsure to this day if we ever talked. But I remember that sky. I remember those stars. I remember the smell of whiskey, bug repellent, and cigarette smoke. I remember feeling kinda ripped off that I wasn’t sharing this overwhelmingly beautiful night sky with someone I would speak to after that summer. I remember feeling small…

The first night I saw the Milky Way I suspected that humans were quite conceited in thinking that ours was the only inhabited planet amongst all those stars. How could you think we’re alone in the universe? How could your mind be so small to think that this spinning flying rock was the beginning and end of life as we know it? How could I ever think of myself as the center of the universe again? I tried to engage my partner in boredom in an existential conversation about the smallness of our lives as compared to the unknown universe but he turned the moment of potential intimacy into a meaningless kiss.”

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