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I walked all over the farmer’s market and found many interesting stalls, but the Italian ice , which nearly everyone seemed to be enjoying, was elusive. So I walked some more. I was actually enjoying just being around people. Sure it meant having to wait an hour , possibly two, before I could laboriously “like” every photo and repeated joke that my friend’s posted on facebook, but it was interesting because I was having “human interaction”. Human Interaction was strictly forbidden in Houston and your rank in society was based on how little human interaction you were able to accomplish. The less you had to speak with actually people , the higher your rank in society. Some people in Houston could go days without talking, face to face, with another human.
There was something inherently good about the whole moment of being. Even when I chose a comfortable, but inconvenient spot for everyone else, to write I was let alone to do it. No nasty looks, no sixty year old man trying to recapture his youth by blasting lady gaga on his iPod sitting next to me. No other sounds were present except the pleasant and reassuring voices of people chatting, dogs playfully barking with their owners, cars in the background and really annoying people whom I deeply hated because they had found the Italian ice stall before it closed.
Even the writing was fun. The sound of the pen as crisply distributed its ink on the paper, the satisfying “Swoosh” of a finished page being flipped over, the furious crossing out of a sentence that had to be reworked or did not make sense. All these sounds were good and being alive was also, for the temporary time it lasted , very good indeed.
For just a few hours I was able to experience what it really meant to be American, what it meant to be in America back in the time when it was still America. There were no political discussion , no angry glances because people chose whatever lifestyle they chose or physical attributes they were given. People forgot for a few moments that world lay on the brink of economic collapse (yet again, for the fourth or fifth time this week), and that some of the young men and women that were there with children and friends and chihuahuas would be donning battle gear and going off to a country where they were not wanted but were very much needed so young girls could go to school without fear of being killed and people could listen to music as they pleased and be given a standard of life we take for granted. People were just enjoying the freedom to be themselves ,enjoy good food and hide the Italian ice from me.