Look Up! Houston Skylines – Scrapbook

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Houston we have a problem.” Jim Lovell – Apollo 13


At the cashpoint in a local 711, downtown Houston. I feel the eyes of a curious local, hispanic descent, schlubby and with dried mud on his Adidas sneakers, investigate me up and down. I didn’t catch his name but I’ll call him Hernandez. His other half is at the other counter, she’s portly and her skin’s bad. I didn’t catch her name but I’ll call her Bella.


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Hernandez finally folds and pipes up. “If you don’t me askin’, where you from?”


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Cambridge,” I say plaintively. This answer didn’t satisfy Hernandez. “Cambridge, England.” I add.


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You can tell.” He grunts.


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I’ve judged Hernandez on his muddy trainers, on his resigned countenance, on his portly other half. Hernandez is miserable, and angry. But as an ambassador of the UK, I feel obliged to reciprocate with small talk. “You live around here?” I ask.


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“Just up the road.” 

“What’s it like living around here?” 

“Shit.” 


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Bella gets served, she hands the bag to Hernandez and they leave together without saying goodbye. I bought four oversized tees and some crispy M&M’s and leave.


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