they move in when you are young and take away where you are from

it seemed like a good idea at the time. selection, convenience, they are open later on a saturday.

it would be worth mentioning here that i am one that is prone to let bygones be bygones which often means that i choose to forget instead of to learn. as humans this is one of our tragic flaws. our inability to learn from the past. we often fail to listen to our inner voice. the voice that has been there and done that and knows better than to go again. the one that shouts no! please god! don't do that!

ahhhh... come on! i told it today, how bad could it be? it will be fun... somewhere deep inside me there was the smallest of sighs then and with that i was off

i only made it as far as the skytrain before i saw the err of my ways. but at this point it was too far gone. to turn the ship around meant quitting. my whole life i have been a quitter, that is until a few years ago when i quite ceremoniously adopted the "thou shalt never quit" philosophy. this of course made way for an almost immediate induction of the "thou shalt not even bother" philosophy but that is a different story and in this one i did bother, in fact i commited as far as the damn skytrain aka the stinky sardine express and so the show was destined to go on.

so maybe i could live with the backturned baseball caps, smart ass comments, screaming kids and cell phones ringing. i have come to expect, although completely loathe, these byproducts of society. but the line gets drawn when i am required to wait 22.5 minutes to try on a skirt that has, as it turns out, a huge rip up the side of it because every measure was taken to ensure it was made as cheaply as possible so as to completely dash any allusions i still had in relation to cost and quality. and when the girl in the fitting room adjoining mine starts shouting obsentities to what one can only assume is her boyfriend i really start to get a little shakey. it's ok, i tell myself, this isn't everyone, it is only a select few. people are inherantly decent. give them a chance.

i am at the food court now. ahhh yes the cornucopia of selection. indian, thai, chinese, burger, taco, fries, chicken...the list is endless. the largest food court in western canada they say. what an accomplishment. the place has style too, fireplaces and skylights, red "leather" seating on the higher end side. without a doubt this is the place where all of our decency comes to die. right here on the laminate tabletop, it oozes through the southwestern geometric shapes and then onto the sticky overstepped floor, a thousand seats and not one is empty. we have all come for the big show, buy it up, shove it in, burp it up. consuming consumerism one meal at a time. i was guilty too, no doubt. and i stayed longer than i should have, mothers and cousins flocking around my table like vultures cawing on their phones. "i think i have one, come over here, i am by the kfc it shouldn't be long now", a disturbing glance in my direction and i know that my time is up. their non-feathered beakless poulty products are getting cold, they need somewhere to perch. but it is hard to leave. as i sit there i can't help but think that this is so much more human than any news report or new york times article. if you were to put the universe in a seive and shake it letting all the subtly small bits, memory, experience, laughter, happiness fall through the holes into this enormous bowl all you would be left with in the end is this. thousand of people eating fast food in a sterile shopping mall in the suburbs. because all of the really fucked up shit in the world pretty much amounts to this in one way or the other.

so i had been there 2 hours and had yet to buy anything. in fact i only talked myself in to trying one thing on and even then i felt the changeroom attendants eyes piercing my soul with judgement. i know that it is a balancing act that these attendants have to play. friendly but judgey, nice but distant. they want you to try on one or two things but god help you if you don't give them back on the hanger the way you found them and future visits to the fitting room are discouraged. we, like, only get paid $8 an hour and well we ummm really don't feel like putting away your stuff...like ok? ok ok i get it.

back into the mall i trudge.

i had so many expectations. but the orange sweater was only available in large, the skirt in xs, the shoes i love don't come that small and the only jacket left in my size has a rip on the left pocket. it isn't working out at all. i am more determined now, i didn't travel across the city on the stinky sardine express to come home empty handed. i needed something bigger than a scarf or a belt or brooch. this was serious.

so i waited in more lines and tried on more crap. i contemplated blues and pinks and greens. i looked in the mirror from various angles and then once it was determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that the items in question were unsatisfactory, they would get tossed back. my head grew heavy, my feet sore. by now i had a stomach ache from the french fries consumed in the food court and i had to go pee. more lines. more vultures.

right around now the noise started to become unbearable. i live in what is arguably the busiest interesection in vancouver and at that moment i was longing for the peace and quiet of home. kids screaming, teenagers cackling, store girls condescending. it was everywhere, this cacaphony of excess. i wanted to scream and run loudly through the hall pushing everyone over in my wake. "that will teach you! stare if you must but i am right this time, this is hell and we are all here on our own volition. consume! consume!" i would yell with my head tilted back, my eyes twitching from side to side. but i knew that would be taking it too far. it was time to admit defeat, once the deulsions start it is generally time to call it a day and so i shuffled toward the exit.

i stopped to consume once more on my way out, this time the corporation was starbucks and as i stepped into the light of outside i took my first sip. finally something i can rely on i thought. this is why they do millions in profits, consistency. sweet sweet consistency. but as the liquid reached my throat the reality rang false. diesel. ok maybe just expensive gasoline. sigh. even the coffee is turned off by this whole affair.

climbing the stairs to the skytrain platform we mutter to each other, "i am never coming here again, mark my word!" but just then, in the saying, i realize that we said the same thing last time. some lessons take years to learn. something tells me we will be back again. i don't think i will have french fries next time though, that portugese chicken is where it's at.

1 comment:

a-one said...

quality should not be this difficult to still find - there must be still some illusions that we can count on not to get the hair on the back of the neck up everytime...right!?* could it be that the faulty foundations of consume, consume, consumerism was doomed to implode from its conception - oh the desire is wicked aint'it