The Astrodome is backed against the south side of Houston’s 610 loop freeway like an old boxer sagging against the ropes. Its gray body doesn’t catch the sun like it used to. Its walls are stained with runoff, murky dark arrows streaking down yellowed ribs, absorbing sunlight and reflecting little back. I hadn’t seen the Dome with my own eyes in years, but when I moved back to Houston a few years ago I felt compelled to see it, compelled to recall the scale of the building and its relationship to the landscape, to refer to it like a metaphysical sextant as I re-acclimated to my home town. The Astrodome is, for me, the shape of the city, both low-lying and grandiose, shiny and dull, youth and old age occupying the same cells.