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Outside the train window, the sun blurs out pink across industrial New England. Old factories and local marinas glow; people are barbecuing in their backyards, riding their bikes, sailing their boats as I surge past towards Boston. These people who live on the water in the summer and watch the leaves turn red and then wither—I am supposed to be one of them. It makes me worry that when I get home, it will not feel the same. Have you ever recognized a face but forgotten the name that goes with it? The Acela gets stuck outside of Providence for twenty minutes, and there’s no cell connection to tell my dad I’m going to be late getting into the station. This feels like a bad omen, and I listen to California by Joni Mitchell because it reminds me of a homecoming to a foreign place. Will you take me as I am?

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