the bell rings as i walk into the star store. i look around at the walls and
the posters of stars, labeled Sneden’s Star, Bessel’s Star, Cor Caroli,
Plaskett’s star, Teegarden’s Star and so on. at the far back of the room
is a man in black thick-rimmed glasses watching cat videos on the
internet. he doesn’t smile as the cats push glasses off the table, or slip
on wooden floors or fall off furniture chasing after a red laser pointer.
“can i help you?” he says staring me up and down. “yes, hi, i was
interested in purchasing a star,” i say. he says to me “i’m very sorry but
we are completely sold out of stars.” i take a second to digest this. “ok,”
i say. well. do you know when you will be getting more stars in?” “no,” he
says to me “you don’t understand. there are no more stars left to buy.”
he itches his nose and presses play again on his cat videos. “but how is
that even possible?” i ask him. “the universe is infinite, isn’t it?” he pauses
the cat video again. “yes.” he says. “yes it is, but all the stars have been
bought.” “but there’s an infinite number of stars too i’d wager,” i say. “you
would think so,” he says, “but humans are greedy as fuck, and all the stars
have been bought. there’s no more,” all the stars have been purchased.
i try to fathom how that’s possible. “yeah, i’m sorry. today’s our last day of
business. we’ll be closing our doors at 6 p.m. sharp.” “well, what’s going to
be here in place of the star store?” i ask. “a cell phone case store,” he says
to me. “is there anything else i can help you with?” he says to me. “what
else could you possibly help me with?” i ask him. “i was just being polite,”
he says. i exit the star store and immediately walk home, pack up my bags
and move to Hong Kong, the city in the world with the most light pollution.
i like that i can’t see the stars that i will never have a chance to own here.
one day i realize i am 7,909 miles away from cleveland, ohio now and i
decide to open up a star store selling stars. after paying my first month’s
rent and purchasing a few posters of stars for the walls i decide to buy
myself a star as a reward for my hard work. i name the star Greg. on
slow days i sit at my desk and watch cat videos, except i don’t wear
black thim-rimmed glasses, and i smile while i watch the cats.
COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2015