In the middle of a noisy, narrow street brimming with tall beer towers and burly boys with backpacks, he stood breathing in the silver smoke and the stench of new experiences. Before leaving his house he made sure he was dressed smartly, in his best jeans and a freshly-pressed shirt buttoned all the way up, as if to protect his throat from danger, and of course he clutched his helium wares tightly, perhaps knowing the exact number governing that colorful cloud; each one was carefully accounted for. In the middle of that noisy, narrow street, people looked at him and thought, How many more balloons will it take for this man to soar off to another part of the city—happier and quieter and brighter, with wide open spaces and children who can spend all day watching kings and queens on parade—where he will finally feel like he belongs?