They ignored her because of their headphones, a thousand people marching to fifteen hundred different drummers, effectively secluded but for a very basic instinct not to bump into one another. Those that were unplugged rushed from place to place and were never actually anywhere other than “somewhere else.

If it took eons to get to the edge of one’s galactic yard, she could not imagine the neighbors dropping by for a casual visit, especially since the heavenly houses were uninhabitable well into the next state.

Even if one is doing nothing more than eating Chinese food with one’s Muslim and Jewish friends (don’t order the pork lo mein), being together on the longest nights of the year, as the cold sets into the ground and makes it crunch, the warmth inside is infectious and transcendent.

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