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Jerome, Arizona, is high up. It’s not as high up as some towns in Arizona but it seems to be everyone’s favorite high up town. It is old and carefully quirky, all the rust is artful and intentional and the mood is specially crafted to make visitors regret many of their life decisions.

Why don’t we live up on this mountain so we could sit in these red chairs?

The red chairs almost immediately filled me with envy although, a while ago, I owned blue  chairs just like these that I could have painted red. But those chairs would have been on my front porch, not on this little terrace with the rusty railing and sunflowers waving in the background. I wouldn’t have been able to see for miles seeing on my repainted red chairs on my front porch, only across the street at the doctor unloading her Target haul and the rabbi changing his flat tire.

I so loved the red chairs in Jerome, I asked my husband to take a picture of me sitting in one. The picture came out shadowy and dark. I looked like a tourist sitting in a red chair instead of my imagined self, relaxing up high at home in Jerome. I considered the photo and deleted it from my phone. I’d wanted a photo that would have made me look like I belonged there but I didn’t so it was an impossible wish. So I took another photo with no one pretending or yearning.

The red chairs were perfect vacant. I can see that now.