There are about a half-a-dozen “I almost lived there” cities that sit in my memory like books unread on a shelf in a library I no longer have a membership card to. Two suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts; Jersey City, New Jersey; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee.
Each one of those place-names sounds to me like a bullet whistling past my head, an anecdote of a disaster that I did not have to watch unfold in front of my eyes as if I was a bystander in my life instead of a participant. I had quite a few disasters in the places in which I actually resided; and, yes, I might have found recovery in any one of those fine cities and be celebrating many more years of recovery than I now have, but I did not. Life is perfect where I reside, even in its many imperfections. I may have made a lot of errors, but no mistakes.