We were walking up State Street yesterday, when we were very politely accosted by this young man who was trying to get people to write their answer to that question in his little spiral notebook.
Meade accepted the challenge, and that gave me the opportunity to ask if I could take the man's photograph. I said I was especially interested in the subject of men in skirts, and he agreed to be photographed and introduced me to the term Utilikilt. There was some talk about its usefulness to, for example, a carpenter.
I observed that it would be a useful defense against plumber's crack (since the back isn't attached to the front beneath the legs, so there's no downward pull when you crouch), and he made the less subtle point that it wasn't good if you had to use a ladder.
Having finished writing in the notebook, Meade asked him how other people had answered the question, and the man — his name is Aaron Heideman — explained his project, which was to travel all over the country — hitchhiking — and find out the different ways people would answer. Some people went for abstractions and some for personal accomplishments or possessions. He gave me his card, his consent to blog his pictures, and his willingness to receive traffic to his blog: americandreamorbust.com.
As we walked away, I asked Meade what he wrote. He said: "To live in freedom."