In the technical aspect of it all, Joe's primary function was still in tact but his imperative and restriction program had been compromised by a highly unlikely conscious suppression of programmed responses. In other words, Joe had free will. It sounded simple but, in fact, Joe essentially broke himself with the help of Camilla Macaulay, a name that still hung in his mind even while he walked the airport, following the pattern the tile made below his heavy feet.
With each step there was a resounding click of his shoes.
Outwardly, Joe was no different. His walk was still a purposeful strut. His face was still defaulted to an expression void of emotion. But inside his entire innards were reworking the changes that had taken place that fateful occurrence with Camilla. What went through his mind was nothing like human thought, though. There wasn't exactly an internal dialog running about, balancing the pros, cons, and doubts of this new--way of being, for lack of a better phrase. It was, rather, a specific collection of affirmative and declarative statements.
I am broken.
I am no longer what I was.
This is because I am broken.
I was not broken before.
I was not the way I am now, before.
What am I now that I wasn't before?
To impair or weaken the power.
To repair; renew.
I am renewed.
I am fixed.
But I am still broken.
Amid all of this internal contradiction Joe caught sight of clothes in a nearby shop. He made quick work of the distance across the aisle as he strode to the well-lit gift shop. Camilla had told Joe of a store with clothes that he didn't have to pay for and that would be more practical if he ever had to wash his current clothing again.
Now, this was most likely not the shop Camilla was speaking of, but Joe didn't know this. All he knew were the facts: there was a store with clothes in it, this was a store with clothes in it. If Joe had been driven to wander any further, though, he might be more likely to find what store Camilla was actually talking about. As it was now, he was perusing the collection of various 100% cotton t-shirts screen-printed with various vacation spots of varying eras.
The shirts spoke of things Joe had never heard of before: white water rafting, the largest ball of string, a Hard Rock Café (something that Joe quirked a smirk for), seeing some sort of city made of rocks, and visiting a plethora cities with their names in bold puffy print on questionable colors like lime green and electric orange.
Finally, Joe settled on Hard Rock Café, disrobing with little thought of anyone passing by until he remembered the discomfort Camilla presented with doing this. Looking out the class display walls of the store, he ducked behind an aisle to try on the shirt.
It wasn't necessarily a flattering shirt, Joe mused as he looked in a hat mirror. At this, he glanced up at an especially titillating array of head-wear, some the likes of which he'd never seen before. He dodged the neon visors and snatched up a hat that would have been more comfortable on an Australian adventurer than Joe. The brown, leather hat's brim was pinned up on either side and a long string sprouted from each side, tied in a bow in the middle.
Joe looked down at his pants, suddenly seeming out of place in the oddball ensemble. Quickly, Joe nabbed a pair of cheap Bermuda shorts with an Hawaiian print and shelled off his shoes for the just as satisfying sound of plastic flip-flops. This was a far cry from a comparatively sophisticated jaunty look to a less satisfactory style. Joe was completely aware of this as he studied his appearance. He doubted that this had been what Camilla had envisioned with his discovery of the new clothing. He felt somewhat disappointed in his journey as he continued to discern his image in the reflection of the shop's windows.