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North Carolina

North Carolina’s a good place to leave if you’re seeking melancholy. In London they said it was full of crazy people, and of course they’re right: shouldn’t we crazies stick together?

On my first trip to North Carolina we stopped to see you, Luke. Your voice had changed (mine wouldn’t for years) and our height difference had never been greater. You were playing violin and soccer; your dad hadn’t vanished yet. You were golden. You probably still are.

How do you stay golden? How do you leave the ones you love? How do you find someone whose last name is Smith?